ANCIENNE COLLECTION PARTICULIÈRE FRANÇAISE
The Qianlong Emperor had a strong preference for wares that imitated antiquities and disapproval for the florid ‘new style’ is documented in palace records and poems that he composed. In the catalogue to the exhibition The Refined Taste of the Emperor. Special Exhibition of Archaic and Pictorial Jades of the Ch’ing Court, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1997, p. 49, it is noted that the Emperor followed the literati aesthetic that developed in the Song dynasty, whereby the study and appreciation of antiques allowed scholars ‘to experience the artistic freshness and moral strength of the classical period. In turn, they hoped to invest their own generation with these values, thus enriching both art and public life’. In order to promote this the Emperor ordered the court to publish collections of drawings of antiquities and circulate them among craftsmen.
A white jade fang ding of this type in the collection of the Asian Museum of San Francisco, is illustrated in René-Yvon Lefebvre d’Argencé, Chinese Jades in the Avery Brundage Collection, Tokyo, 1977, pl. LIII; and another, from the collection of Marcia Israel, was included in the exhibition Chinese Jade From Southern California Collections, Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles, 1976, cat. no. 45. See also a fang ding with carved straight legs and upright rim handles, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, included in the Museum’s exhibition Great National Treasures of China, Taipei, 1996, cat. no. 45; another in the De An Tang Collection, exhibited in A Romance With Jade, Palace Museum, Beijing, 2004, cat. no. 124, and sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 10th April 2006, lot 1757; a third from the collection of Rt. Hon. Sir Peter Blaker, sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 19th November 1985, lot 81; and a larger example, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum. Jade, vol. 10, Qing Dynasty, Beijing, 2011, pl. 64.
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