This vase was fashioned from a jade boulder of large size and attractive even colour. Such jade boulders were frequently sent as tribute gifts to the court from the jade-rich territories of Khotan and Yarkand, areas opened only after the Qing army’s conquest of the north-western territories. The finest quality pebbles were then selected to be carved by artisans working in the Palace Workshop, in the jade workshops of Suzhou, or in those belonging to the Huai and Changlu Administrations. The finished product was later presented to the emperor for approval and displayed in the Palace.
For other you-shaped vases from the Qianlong period, see two white jade vases with a plain swing handle, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Yang Boda, Chinese Jades Throughout the Ages. Connoisseurship of Chinese Jades, vol. 12, Hong Kong, 1997, pls 48 and 49. See also a white jade you-shaped vase from the estate of Baron Pierre de Menasce, sold at Doyle New York, 17th March 2014, lot 273.
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