Lot 201
  • 201

A PALE CELADON JADE 'HORSE AND MONKEY' GROUP QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY |

Estimate
4,000 - 6,000 USD
Sold
27,500 USD
bidding is closed

Description

carved as a recumbent horse, the mane falling in fine waves down both sides of the neck, the tail to one side, the head turned backwards to look at a small monkey clambering up the hind quarters, clasping the end of the bridle, the striated stone a milky celadon with white mottling and faint caramel veining

Provenance

Deqingshuwu Collection.
Christie's Hong Kong, 26th April 2004, lot 1216.
J. J. Lally & Co., New York, 29th June 2004.

Catalogue Note

Such a carving would have been presented to an aspiring official, as the depiction of a monkey atop a horse forms the rebus Ma shang feng hou, conveying the wish for a speedy promotion. Additionally, as Terese Tse Bartholomew notes in Hidden Meanings: Symbolism in Chinese Art, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, 2006, p. 118, the combination of a monkey with a horse also stems from an ancient Indian belief that monkeys could prevent horses from falling ill, as seen in early agricultural guidebooks such as Han E's Essential Sishi zuanyao / Notes for the Four Seasons and Li Shizhen's Compendium of Bencao gangmu / Materia Medica.  Compare a related horse and monkey group sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 3rd December 1976, lot 728. A similar carving but with a patch of russet, sold twice in our Hong Kong rooms, first on 21st May 1987, lot 653, and again, 18th May 1989, lot 824. A larger example sold in these rooms, 22nd September 2005, lot 351. See also one illustrated in Robert Kleiner, Chinese Jades from the Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman, New York, 1996, pl. 184, and later sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 27th November 2007, lot 1556.

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