worked in the form of a lobed peach, the deep rounded sides rising from four ruyi feet to an incurved rim, flanked by a pair of handles carved in the form of a bat perched on the edge of the rim, above a loop fashioned as a stylised lingzhi spray suspending a loose ring, the exterior worked in low relief with another bat with outstretched wings, grasping in its mouth a long tassel pierced in openwork, suspending a pair of interlaced bats, an endless knot and a stylised shou character over the top of the vessel, terminating in two pleated swags falling into wavy ends on the opposite exterior, the stone of a pale celadon-white tone flecked with dark speckles
Christie's London, 15th June 1998, lot 266.
A larger brush washer of this form and with a shou
character suspending from a tassel was sold at Christie’s New York, 2nd December 1993, lot 68; and a slightly smaller version was sold in our London rooms, 21st February 1967, lot 7. See also a bowl carved with the characters shuangxi
('double happiness') hanging from a musical stone, from the collection of George de Menasce and now in the collection of Sir John Woolf, included in the exhibition The Woolf Collection of Chinese Jade
, Sotheby’s, London, 2013, cat. no. 63; one of slightly smaller size, illustrated in Robert Kleiner, Chinese Jades from the Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman
, Hong Kong, 1996, pl. 105; two sold in our London rooms, the first, 1st/2nd November 1984, lot 462, and the second, 7th November 2007, lot 385.
This piece is carved with numerous auspicious messages and would have been considered a suitable wedding or birthday gift. The shou character is symbolic of long life, while the two bat handles create the pun shuang fu, which indicate double blessings.