Boulder mountains testify the jade carvers' tremendous skills and reflect their reverence for the natural qualities of the stone. They were able to carve elaborate and lively tableaus within the confines of the boulder, keeping the silhouette intact while artistically manipulating the natural 'imperfections' of the stone to enhance the design.
Compare a jade boulder with a similar use of the russet skin, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, included in the Museum's exhibition The Refined Taste of the Emperor, Taipei, 1997, cat. no. 47. A jade boulder of similar size with immortals in a mountainscape from the British Rail Pension Fund was sold in these rooms, 16th May 1989, lot 97, another showing Shoulao travelling with an acolyte also in these rooms, 16th November 1989, lot 601. A related celadon jade boulder, depicting an immortal ascending the long staircases from his pavilion to a scholar await at the bottom of the mountain, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is published in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Jadeware III, Hong Kong, 1995, no. 73.
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