Lot 10
  • 10


80,000 - 120,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Width 8 3/8  in., 21.2 cm
the horizontal rectangular panel finely carved to one side in relief with a riverscape, the water flowing diagonally from the upper right side and broadening toward the lower left corner, sailboats and fishing skiffs plying rippling waters, the near bank with docked boats and a small village with buildings and gardens, the opposite bank also with cabins and docked boats but backed by a massive fortified city wall stretching into the distance, an enormous temple complex including a stupa-form censer, pagoda, shrine, multi-tier temple, and monastic cells beyond the wall, a second pagoda rising from the mountains in the distance, the reverse unadorned, the stone an icy white with bright apple-green veins throughout and a small russet patch at the lower corner, hongmu stand (2)


Collection of Sir Isaac (1897-1991) and Lady Wolfson.
Sotheby's London, 8th June 1982, lot 311.
Collection of Florence (1920-2018) and Herbert (1917-2016) Irving, no. 402.

Catalogue Note

This table screen is striking for the brilliant green tone of the stone from which it was fashioned and is the pair to a table screen formerly in the collections of R.C. Bruce, H.M. Queen Marie of Yugoslavia, and Sir John Woolf, included in the exhibition International Exhibition of Chinese Art, Royal Academy of Art, London, 1935, cat. no. 1886, and now in the Woolf Collection, illustrated in The Woolf Collection of Chinese Jade, Sotheby's, London, 2013, cat. no. 10 (fig. 1). The natural striations and subtle variations in the stone's color, cleverly incorporated into the design of both screens to depict rippling water, appear to match. Furthermore, the two screens read like extracts from sections of a longer handscroll. This table screen and its pair are also remarkable on account of their detailed depictions of a city, possibly showing two different views of West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, the capital city of the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279). The pair to this piece appears to depict Solitary Mountain (Gushan), an island in the West Lake connected to land through a series of bridges, while the present example may depict the tall Leifeng pagoda in the distance, and the Jingci temple at the foot of Nanping Hill. To this day, Hangzhou is renowned for its beautiful scenery, magnificent buildings and numerous bridges, and the tradition of sightseeing in Hangzhou can be traced back at least to the Tang dynasty (618-907). From the Song period through to the Qing dynasty, Hangzhou continued to attract numerous visitors, including the Qianlong Emperor, who visited the city during his Southern Inspection Tours. On the handscroll The Ten Views of West Lake, which was painted by Dong Bongda (1699-1769) before the Emperor's first southern inspection tour in 1751, a poem composed by the Emperor the year before captures his eagerness to travel there (Travelling with Art. Painting and Calligraphy Accompanying the Qianlong Emperor's Southern Tours, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 2017, cat. no. 3).

Jadeite table screens carved with such detailed sceneries of cities are highly unusual; a jadeite screen carved with a landscape in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, was included in the Museum's exhibition Jingtian gewu. Zhongguo lidai yuqi daodu/Art in Quest of Heaven and Earth. A Guide to Chinese Jades through the Ages, Taipei, 2011, cat. no. 7-5-2; and a larger pair of screens, in the National Museum of History, Taipei, was included in the exhibition Jade: Ch'ing Dynasty Treasures, Taipei, 1998, cat. nos 17 and 18. See also a white nephrite screen carved with Mount Riguan on one side and Baiyun Cave on the reverse, from the De An Tang Collection, included in the exhibition A Romance with Jade, Palace Museum, Beijing, 2004, cat. no. 63; and another from the Thompson-Schwab Collection, sold in our London rooms, 9th November 2016, lot 7.