Chinese Jade Animals, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1996, cat. no. 90.
The masterfully rendered posture of the central ram echoes the still and powerful stone figures that line the Spirit Roads of Tang and Song tombs, yet the fluidity and fullness of the forms capture a sense of vitality and elegance. A later carving of three similarly positioned rams was sold in our New York rooms, 20th February 1979, lot 186; and another was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 18th March 1991, lot 364. Compare single figures of rams portrayed with their heads raised in a related alert manner, such as one in the B.S. McElney collection, included in the exhibition Chinese Jade Carving, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1983, cat. no. 139; and a later figure sold in our London rooms, 13th May 1976, lot 375.
Rams symbolise the spirit or breath of light and life, which returns at the end of winter and the beginning of spring; thus a group of three rams represents the wish for the New Year to bring a change of fortune (sanyang kaitai).
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale