142
142
A MASSIVE AND OUTSTANDING WHITE JADE 'DRAGON' INCENSE BURNER AND COVER
QING DYNASTY, 18TH – 19TH CENTURY
Estimate
2,500,0003,500,000
LOT SOLD. 3,120,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
142
A MASSIVE AND OUTSTANDING WHITE JADE 'DRAGON' INCENSE BURNER AND COVER
QING DYNASTY, 18TH – 19TH CENTURY
Estimate
2,500,0003,500,000
LOT SOLD. 3,120,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art from the Collection of Sir Quo-Wei Lee

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Hong Kong

A MASSIVE AND OUTSTANDING WHITE JADE 'DRAGON' INCENSE BURNER AND COVER
QING DYNASTY, 18TH – 19TH CENTURY
the curved sides rising to an angular shoulder and sweeping up to an everted rim, flanked by a pair of well-carved dragon-head handles suspending loose rings, the fierce beasts each powerfully modelled with round bulging eyes, flaring nostrils and a semi-opened mouth revealing sharp fangs, their long whiskers, flowy mane and curved horns swung backwards, all supported on three cabriole legs issuing from animal masks, surmounted by a domed cover with an exuberantly carved finial in openwork, depicting two addorsed chilong in crouching position, one larger and the other smaller, with three lingzhi clusters in radiating triad arrangement and suspending loose rings, the well-polished stone of an even white tone
29.6 cm, 11 5/8  in.
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Catalogue Note

White jade boulders skilfully worked into incense burners of this exceptional size and even luminous tone are extremely rare. The quality of the stone has been accentuated through the exquisite carving and lustrous finish of the surface. By restricting the intricate carving to the handles and finial, which have been skilfully modelled in the round, the carver draws attention to the quality of the stone. Jade boulders of this large size originated in the jade-rich territories of Khotan and Yarkand, areas opened only after the Qing army's conquest of the north-western territories in the 18th century. The Qianlong Emperor himself frequently praised the qualities of the jades from Khotan in poems incised on specific jade vessels. Continuing in the Song dynasty tradition of carving jade vessels in the form of archaic bronzes, the craftsmen of the Qing adapted classical forms and combined them with their own innovative decorative elements.

The form of the present piece is based on an archaic bronze vessel known as ding. Compare a white jade tripod incense burner of similar archaistic form, legs decorated with animal masks and finial carved in the form of a coiled dragon, from the Qing court collection and still in Beijing, published in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Jadeware III, Hong Kong, 1995, no. 60. Smaller incense burners of related form, but carved with two lions on the cover, include two sold in our New York rooms, 18th March 2008, lot 32, and 27th/28th April 1967, lot 297; one sold in our London rooms, 18th November 1998, lot 926; and another, but with one Buddhist lion over the cover and two extra ringed lion mask handles, from the Su Lin An collection sold in these rooms, 31st October 1995, lot 331. Compare also a jadeite incense burner of this form from the Jingguantang collection, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 3rd November 1996, lot 610.

Important Chinese Art from the Collection of Sir Quo-Wei Lee

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Hong Kong