3308
3308
AN EXTREMELY RARE AND EXCEPTIONAL PAIR OF YELLOW JADE BOWLS
QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD
Estimate
5,000,0007,000,000
LOT SOLD. 6,720,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
3308
AN EXTREMELY RARE AND EXCEPTIONAL PAIR OF YELLOW JADE BOWLS
QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD
Estimate
5,000,0007,000,000
LOT SOLD. 6,720,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Jades, Ambers and Hardstones from a Distinguished Connoisseur

|
Hong Kong

AN EXTREMELY RARE AND EXCEPTIONAL PAIR OF YELLOW JADE BOWLS
QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD
each superbly worked with deep rounded sides rising from a splayed galleried foot to a flaring rim, the smoothly polished stone of a warm and attractive yellow colour subtly suffused with russet inclusions and accentuated with dark and icy speckles, wood stands
13.8 cm, 5 3/8  in.
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Provenance

Sotheby's Hong Kong, 22nd May 1985, lot 305.

Catalogue Note

Perfectly proportioned and finished to a lustrous sheen, this pair of bowls exemplifies the cultural and economic wealth of the 18th century under the reign of the Qianlong Emperor. With the quelling of the Xinjiang rebellions in the 24th year of his reign (1759), raw jade from Xinjiang could be excavated in previously unattainable quantities and was shipped to the imperial palace every spring and autumn. As a result, not only did jade production reach its zenith but it also became the epitome of the Qianlong Emperor’s military achievement of expanding the borders.

The present bowls are exceptional for their large size and brilliant translucent yellow colouration, which is highlighted through the lack of any embellishment, which was much favoured by the Qing Court for its association with the imperial colour of yellow. Since the Ming dynasty yellow jade was recognised by scholars and connoisseurs as one of the most valued variations of nephrite. In his miscellany Yanxian Qingshang [Refined enjoyment of elegant leisure], the dramatist Gao Lian (fl. 1573-1581) noted, "Of all jade materials, yellow stones with a mellow tone are the best and mutton-white ones come second". Because of its rarity, the brownish skin was often worked into the piece, as seen on the present pair, to increase its overall size and show the carver’s respect for the rare and valuable material.

Bowls fashioned from yellow jade are rare, and each appears to have been individually fashioned according to the natural boulder, with subtle differences in the proportions or foot; a smaller example of narrower proportions and a taller foot, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is published in Gugong bowuyuan wenwu cangpin daxi. Yuqi juan/Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum: Jade, vol. 10: Qing, Beijing, 2011, pl. 169; a marginally larger bowl of similar form to the present but with a taller foot, incised with a Qianlong reign mark and of the period, was sold in our New York rooms, 23rd March 1998, lot 349, and again in these rooms, 8th October 2009, lot 1807, from the Water, Pine and Stone Retreat collection; and a smaller pair of bowls and covers, attributed to the Jiaqing period, from the collection of T.Y. Chao, was sold in these rooms, 18th November 1986, lot 164.

A small number of earlier yellow jade bowls is known; see one of conical form, attributed to the Song dynasty, from the Qing court collection and still in Beijing, illustrated in the Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum. Jade, vol. 5, Tang, Song, Liao, Jin and Yuan Dynasties, Beijing, 2011, pl. 70; another with a lipped rim, from the collection of J.C. Thomson and now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, included in the Oriental Ceramic Society exhibition Chinese Jade Throughout the Ages, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1975, cat. no. 274; and two further bowls, in the Museum of East Asian Art, Bath, illustrated in Angus Forsyth and Brian McElney, Jades from China, Bath, 1994, pls. 249 and 251. Compare also a bowl with flared sides, unearthed from the Southern Song tomb of Zhu Xiyan and his wife at Chengguan, Xiuning, Anhui province, and illustrated in The Complete Collection of Unearthed Jades in China, Beijing, 2005, vol. 6, pl. 174. 

Important Jades, Ambers and Hardstones from a Distinguished Connoisseur

|
Hong Kong