3719
3719
A FINELY CARVED JADE FIGURE OF A BUFFALO
SONG DYNASTY
Estimate
800,0001,200,000
LOT SOLD. 1,000,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
3719
A FINELY CARVED JADE FIGURE OF A BUFFALO
SONG DYNASTY
Estimate
800,0001,200,000
LOT SOLD. 1,000,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong

A FINELY CARVED JADE FIGURE OF A BUFFALO
SONG DYNASTY
well worked in the form of a recumbent buffalo with its legs neatly tucked beneath its body, the beast rendered with a slightly raised head accentuated with a pronounced snout, further portrayed with a pair of long curved horns and a long incised tail swept up against its right side, the muscular body flanked with ribs and marked with subtle curves, the stone of a greyish-green colour with attractive russet veining
7.9 cm, 3 1/8  in.
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Provenance

James W. and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection, Chicago.
Eskenazi Ltd, London.

Exhibited

Chinese Art from the Collection of James W. and Marilynn Alsdorf, The Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, 1970, cat. no. J19.
Twenty Five Years: Ancient Chinese Bronzes, Gilt Bronzes, Inlaid Bronzes, Silver, Jades, Ceramics, Eskenazi Ltd, London, 1985, cat. no. 19.
Sydney S.K. Fung and Yeung Chun-tong, eds, Exquisite Jade Carving: Figures, Animals, Ornaments, The University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1995, cat. no. 82.

Catalogue Note

Finely carved in a reclining pose with its legs tucked under the body, the carver of this piece has skilfully captured the animal’s tranquil and bucolic nature through its gentle expression and recumbent pose. Jade pebbles carved in the round in the form of animals were created for the scholar’s studio and were often used as paperweights. Water buffaloes were a popular subject matter in the Song dynasty, as they represented the bucolic life in the countryside away, from official duties.  

Water buffaloes were revered from early on in Chinese history, with some of the earliest jade carvings of water buffaloes dating to the Shang dynasty, such as a small carving of a reclining buffalo in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, published on the Museum’s website, accession. no. 1976.297.2; one carved in flat relief in the collection of Mrs Edward Sonnenschein, illustrated in A. Salmony, Carved Jade of Ancient China, 1938, pl. XXIII (8) and an example in the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington D.C., illustrated by Jessica Rawson, 'Animal Motifs in Early Western Zhou Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections', Chinese Bronzes: Selected articles from Orientations, 1983-2000, Hong Kong, 2001, p. 20, fig. 12. Jade carvings of animals excavated from Shang tombs during the Song dynasty no doubt had an influence on contemporaneous works.  

A jade buffalo excavated from a Southern Song dynasty tomb at Zhuji, Zhejiang, is illustrated in Jessica Rawson, Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, British Museum, London, 1995, p. 356, fig. 10; and one modelled with its head raised, was sold in these rooms 30th November 2017, lot 5. See also a much larger buffalo attributed to the Song dynasty and inscribed with an imperial poem composed by the Qianlong Emperor, from the collection of Natasha du Breuil, sold at Christie’s London, 11th November 2003, lot 65, and again in these rooms, 3rd October 2018, lot 3113. 

Important Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong