3454
3454
A CELADON AND RUSSET JADE ‘ELEPHANT AND BOY’ GROUP
MING DYNASTY
Estimate
500,000700,000
JUMP TO LOT
3454
A CELADON AND RUSSET JADE ‘ELEPHANT AND BOY’ GROUP
MING DYNASTY
Estimate
500,000700,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Gems of Chinese Art – The Speelman Collection II

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Hong Kong

A CELADON AND RUSSET JADE ‘ELEPHANT AND BOY’ GROUP
MING DYNASTY
substantially worked in the round as a caparisoned elephant standing foursquare with its head turned backwards, a boy depicted dressed in loose robes and clambering atop the elephant, holding a vase with his left hand and a ruyi sceptre in his right, the elephant further harnessed with decorative trappings and detailed with naturalistically outlined wrinkles across the body, the stone of a yellowish-celadon colour extensively accentuated with russet patches, wood stand
h. 9.3 cm, 3 5/8  in.
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Provenance

The Fryers Collection of Chinese Art.

Catalogue Note

Sensitively fashioned in the round to depict a highly auspicious subject, the present piece demonstrates the craftsman's ability to make full use of the contours of the jade pebble to create a whimsical object with minimal waste. The playfulness of the subject is heightened by the natural russet inclusions of the skin of the jade pebble, which successfully endow the overall composition with a layer of three-dimensionality.

A related figure of an elephant with a saddlecloth, from the Guan-fu collection, was included in the exhibition Chinese Jades from Han to Ch'ing, Asia House Gallery, New York, 1980, cat. no. 57, where it is noted that the zig-zag pattern on the saddlecloth, also seen on the present piece, is reminiscent of Ming brocade designs. Compare also a greenish-yellow russet jade elephant carving, attributed to the seventeenth century, sold at Christie’s New York, 23rd March 2012, lot 1815; and a russet jade figure of an elephant and a boy, from the collection of H.R.H. Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, attributed to the Yuan to Ming dynasty, sold at Christie’s Paris, 10th December 2014, lot 5, and again in these rooms, 3rd October 2017, lot 3758.

The incorporation of numerous auspicious motifs imbues this carving with well-wishes. The character for elephant, xiang, is homophonous with ‘luck’ in Chinese; when illustrated surmounted by a vase on its back, they form the auspicious rebus ‘taiping youxian’, symbolising peace and harmony; whereas the theme of a boy climbing or riding an elephant, symbolises the wish for good fortune.

Gems of Chinese Art – The Speelman Collection II

|
Hong Kong