86
86
AN INSCRIBED SPINACH-GREEN JADE HINGED PLAYTHING
QING DYNASTY / REPUBLIC PERIOD
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 52,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
86
AN INSCRIBED SPINACH-GREEN JADE HINGED PLAYTHING
QING DYNASTY / REPUBLIC PERIOD
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 52,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Chinese Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Florence and Herbert Irving Gift

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New York

AN INSCRIBED SPINACH-GREEN JADE HINGED PLAYTHING
QING DYNASTY / REPUBLIC PERIOD
comprising two short square-section pillars, each with a rounded hinged capital on one end and hollowed from the other end, the capitals notched at the pinnacle and connected by a central waisted triangular join at the top, when extended the pillars forming a single column revealing the inscription, the other sides carved in low relief with archaistic bird motifs, the stone a vibrant emerald green with fine veins in variegated hues, wood stand (2)
Length (open) 6 in., 15.2 cm
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Roger Keverne, Ltd., London, 6th October 1999.
Collection of Florence (1920-2018) and Herbert (1917-2016) Irving, no. 476.

Catalogue Note

Expertly carved in low relief with an archaistic motif that accentuates the stone’s luminous emerald-green tone, this piece bears the same poetic inscription as lot 85 in this sale. Modeled after metal prototypes from the Han dynasty, it epitomizes the immense skills of jade carvers active in the 18th century, who created ever more ingenious designs to satisfy the Emperor’s fondness for objects that were inspired by antiquity.

Jade carvings of this extravagant form were a technical tour de force. While hanging chains and movable rings had become part of the Qing craftsmen’s repertoire, twin tubes and hinged elements were more challenging as they required each part to be carved individually and once assembled the whole piece would need to seamlessly move as one. These ornaments were carved as two hollowed containers connected through a central join and a separate bar that was fitted in a slot carved through the three elements. The containers and separate bar were held together by two jade pins. 

It is interesting to note that while the Qianlong Emperor believed the metal prototypes to be measuring instruments, recent archaeological evidence suggests that they were instead used as fittings. Copper double-tube fittings were excavated at the royal tomb of prince Liu Sheng (d. 113) and his wife Dou Wan in Mancheng, Hebei province, and illustrated in Mancheng Han mu fajue baogao [Excavation report of Han tombs at Mancheng], Beijing, 1980, vol. 1, pl. 114, where the author explains that they were used to join wooden posts in buildings, p. 121.

 

Chinese Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Florence and Herbert Irving Gift

|
New York