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PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

A RARE PALE CELADON MOTTLED JADE HORSE
QING DYNASTY, YONGZHENG/QIANLONG PERIOD
Estimate
30,00050,000
LOT SOLD. 116,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
277

PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

A RARE PALE CELADON MOTTLED JADE HORSE
QING DYNASTY, YONGZHENG/QIANLONG PERIOD
Estimate
30,00050,000
LOT SOLD. 116,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

|
London

A RARE PALE CELADON MOTTLED JADE HORSE
QING DYNASTY, YONGZHENG/QIANLONG PERIOD
skilfully worked in the form of a recumbent horse turning its head sharply to rest on its rounded back, with the front left leg raised and its hind hooves tucked beneath its body, the tail and mane finely detailed with incisions, the tail rendered swept to the side, the polished stone of a pale celadon colour accentuated with russet patches cleverly worked as its dappled coat
12.5 cm, 4 15/16  in.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Collection of Vernon Wethered (1865-1952). 
Thence by decent to the present owner.

Exhibited

On loan to the Ashmolean Museum from 1982 to 2017.

Catalogue Note

Skilfully fashioned in the round, this charming jade horse is notable for the portrait-quality in which it has been sensitively rendered. Its gentle smiling features and full rounded body has been endowed with a certain individuality through the jade stone from which it has been fashioned. The natural patches of brown that run through the celadon stone have been cleverly utilised to create a dappled effect that is reminiscent of one of the breeds in the imperial stables, the piebold horse that was depicted in several imperial paintings such as the seminal work by the Jesuit missionary and court artist Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766), One Hundred Horses (1728), in the National Palace Museum, Taipei (fig. 1). This grand painting, which depicts horses of various breeds and in lively poses brought to pasture in a beautiful mountainous landscape, took five years to complete and highlights the Yongzheng and Qianlong Emperor’s enthusiasm for their fine steeds. The meticulousness of the horses depicted in this painting also suggests that these are portraits of actual horses from the imperial stables, and the placement of the piebold horse in the centre of the scroll indicates its position of importance.

A larger horse fashioned from a mottled jade and carved in a similar style, from the collection of Sir John Woolf, was included in the exhibition The Woolf Collection of Chinese Jade, Sotheby’s, London, 2013, cat. no. 102, together with a pair of larger pale celadon examples, cat. no. 101; another in the British Museum, London is illustrated in Jessica Rawson, Chinese Jade. From the Neolithic to the Qing, London, 1995, pl. 16:20; a third from the H. Tutein Nolthenius collection, was included in the exhibition Oosterse Schatten – 4000 Jaar Aziatische Kunst, The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 1954, cat. no. 84; and a further horse was sold in these rooms, 31st March 1961, lot 171. See also a much larger example in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, illustrated in James C.S. Lin, The Immortal Stone. Chinese Jades from the Neolithic Period to the Twentieth Century, London, 2009, pl. 39.

Vernon Wethered was a founding member of the Oriental Ceramic Society in 1921 and was a client of Bluett's from 1912. His collection of Chinese ceramics and works of art was sold in these rooms on 6th May 1936.

Important Chinese Art

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London