114
114

PROPERTY FROM A JAPANESE COLLECTION

A RARE ARCHAIC JADE 'RHINOCEROS' PLAQUE
EASTERN ZHOU DYNASTY
Estimate
500,000700,000
LOT SOLD. 1,250,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
114

PROPERTY FROM A JAPANESE COLLECTION

A RARE ARCHAIC JADE 'RHINOCEROS' PLAQUE
EASTERN ZHOU DYNASTY
Estimate
500,000700,000
LOT SOLD. 1,250,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Monochrome

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Hong Kong

A RARE ARCHAIC JADE 'RHINOCEROS' PLAQUE
EASTERN ZHOU DYNASTY
worked in the form of a crouching rhinoceros with an undulating silhouette outlined with defined edges, the head of the beast depicted with a long curling horn tapering to an upturned tip, and portrayed diving far down, further rendered with a prominent and broad snout ending in an arc-shaped tip, one side of the body detailed in subtle relief with haunches, the flat reverse with incised lines, the edge incised with three undeciphered characters, the pale stone of an even celadon colour with patches of calcification
12.7 cm, 5 in.
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Provenance

Eskenazi Ltd, London.

Catalogue Note

This piece belongs to a fascinating group of exquisitely carved and finely polished animal plaques made in the Eastern Zhou period. These plaques were part of larger ornamental assemblages that included numerous plaques connected by a silk rope and suspended from a belt worn on or above the waist. While they have been recovered in burial contexts, they were not considered tomb goods but rather treasured personal belongings that the deceased would have worn in his lifetime. When walking, the plaques would gently knock each other producing a tinkling sound that “signified physical and moral elegance and restraint, admired qualities in Confucian circles” (Jenny F. So, Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 2019, pp. 188-9).

A jade plaque of this type, but the surface also carved with raised bosses, was excavated from the tomb believed to belong to Zhao Mo, who ruled from 137-122 BC, during the Western Han dynasty (206 BC – AD 9), as King of Nanyue in the far south and buried at Xianggang, Guangzhou, Guangdong province; see Zhongguo chutu yuqi quanji/The Complete Collection of Jades Unearthed in China, Beijing, 2005, vol. 11, pls 81 and 123; and a pair plaques described as depicting tigers, with archaistic dragons carved on their haunches, in the Cleveland Museum of Art, published in J. Keith Wilson, ‘A Pair of Chinese Jade Plaques’, The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, vol. 80, no. 4 (April 1993), pp. 127-30, and illustrated on the cover and in fig. 1. See also a much larger and more intricately carved plaque, incised on the edge with a two-character inscription, from the collection of Charles Vignier, sold in these rooms, 3rd April 2019, lot 3620; a pair, from the Winthrop collection in the Harvard Art Museum, illustrated op.cit., pl. 26C; and another pair, reputedly from Jincun, Luoyang, Henan province, in the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., included in the exhibition Chinese Art of the Warring States Period. Change and Continuity, 480-222 B.C., Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1982, cat. no. 96.

Monochrome

|
Hong Kong