3515
3515
A SUPERB IMPERIAL JADE 'JIEDETANG JI' ALBUM
QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD
Estimate
4,000,0006,000,000
JUMP TO LOT
3515
A SUPERB IMPERIAL JADE 'JIEDETANG JI' ALBUM
QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD
Estimate
4,000,0006,000,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Scholarly and Imperial Works of Art from a Distinguished Collection

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Hong Kong

A SUPERB IMPERIAL JADE 'JIEDETANG JI' ALBUM
QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD
comprising four rectangular jade plaques of translucent celadon-white colour with faint inclusions between zitan covers of dark reddish-brown colour, the front cover carved with a raised vertical rectangular cartouche to imitate a label, enclosing an incised six-character inscription filled in with gilt reading Yuzhi Jiedetang Ji, surrounded by a luxuriant scene of floral buds and blooms borne on gnarled leafy branches, all issuing from jagged rockwork forming the lower border of the cover, the back cover similarly decorated with a lush floral and foliate scene, each wooden panel framed with a raised border, the front side of the first jade plaque gilt-decorated with a pair of sinuous dragons flanking a central rectangular cartouche enclosing Yuzhi Jiedetang Ji, all above crashing waves and jagged rockwork, the reverse and following six sides incised with an inscription by the Qianlong Emperor drawing on the Three Precepts of Confucius, the concluding page with a further dragon soaring amidst ruyi clouds and chasing a flaming pearl above tempestuous waves and jagged rockwork, all mounted in a bright yellow silk brocade frame
18.3 by 13 cm, 7 1/8  by 5 1/8  in.
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Catalogue Note

Built in the 45th year of the Qianlong reign (in accordance with 1780), Jiede Tang (literally: The Hall without Covetousness) was used by the Qianlong Emperor as his personal study. His grandfather, the Kangxi Emperor often used his Jie Zhi Zai De (‘To Guard Against Covetousness’) seal in this hall, which was located on the left hand side of the Qingshu (‘Clear Comfort’) Mountain House in the Rehe Imperial Summer Retreat. Qianlong named the hall Jiede Tang in memory of his grandfather. The name Jiede originated from Confucius’s advice to guard against desires in three stages of life.

According to Confucius, in youth, physical powers are not yet settled, so one must guard against lust; when he is strong, his physical powers are vigorous, so one must guards against quarrelsomeness; when he is old, his physical powers have declined, and he must guard against covetousness. The name of this hall reflects the Qianlong Emperor’s respect for the Kangxi Emperor’s advice to guard against covetousness, and acted as a reminder for himself of such a principle, both for himself as well as his successors.

The Qianlong Emperor favoured jade as he believed that paper only lasted for a thousand years but a piece of jade would last forever. He had important calligraphy and ancient paintings incised onto jades, and important calligraphy by the great masters, Buddhist scriptures and writings were incised onto jades, which were then made into albums that would be passed on to future generations.

According to the Qinggong Neiwufu Zaobanchu Huoji Dang (‘Qing Palace Household Department Workshop Crafts Archives’), various workshops were ordered to produce inventories in the 47th year of the Qianlong reign. The imperial workshop recorded that on the 20th day of the 11th month, "a jade album inscribed with a Jiede Tang mark sent from Suzhou was presented by Vice Director Wu De and official Da Dase et al. A jade album was given to Dong Gao for gilt-inscription and to make a zitan box with a sliding cover ornamented in gold. On the 1st day of the 5th month in the 48th year, a jade album inscribed with a Jiede Tang mark, placed within a zitan box with a sliding cover ornamented in gold was given to the eunich Eluli to be presented. It was thus sent to the Maoqin Dian (Hall of Merit and Diligence) to be inscribed and labelled, then once completed to be transferred to Rehe, by imperial decree.

(on the 22th day of the 5th month, official Chang Cun completed the transfer of the Jiede Tang jade album with box to Rehe.)

A great art connoisseur whose collection spanned across the past and present, the Qianlong Emperor played an important role in shaping the imperial taste. His collection and taste was both unprecedented and unmatched by successors, offering a glimpse of the prosperity and glamour of his long reign, his approach as the ruler, his aesthetic preferences and enjoyment of the arts.

Scholarly and Imperial Works of Art from a Distinguished Collection

|
Hong Kong