3745
3745
A WHITE JADE 'THREE RAMS' GROUP
QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY
Estimate
800,0001,000,000
JUMP TO LOT
3745
A WHITE JADE 'THREE RAMS' GROUP
QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY
Estimate
800,0001,000,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong

A WHITE JADE 'THREE RAMS' GROUP
QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY
sensuously modelled in the form of a recumbent ram with two young beside, each detailed with almond-shaped eyes, funnel-shaped ears and a pair of striated horns, the larger, bearded animal with its head turned gently backwards, issuing streams of vaporous clouds supporting a yinyang roundel on its back, the stone of an even white tone flecked with russet and darker mottling
11.6 cm, 4 1/2  in.
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Catalogue Note

Exquisitely modelled in the round, this carving is outstanding for the tenderness of the subject that is captured in the interlocking gazes of the rams, the strength of the larger body contrasting with the soft forms of the two small young rams nestled at its side. Compare ‘three rams’ carvings in a variety of similarly affectionate poses; one also with a yinyang roundel, from the collection of Jean Casselman Wadds, was sold in our New York rooms, 17th/18th March 2015, lot 353; another, from the Tsui Museum of Art, was sold at Christie’s New York, 24th March 2011, lot 1462; and one, but with sprigs of lingzhi, was sold in our Paris rooms, 23rd June 2016, lot 65. Further carvings of this subject, but lacking the yinyang symbol and clouds, sold in our London rooms, 16th May 2007, lot 236, and again in these rooms, 1st June 2017, lot 64;

The ram has a long history in China, first appearing on Shang ritual bronzes and in the form of bronze lamps and ceramic tomb figures during the Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220). Small jade carvings of three reclining rams were popular from the Song dynasty onwards, as the theme of three rams, sanyang, was considered particularly auspicious, evoking the expression sanyangkaitai (‘the awakening of nature in spring’) which signified good luck and happiness. For an early depiction of this motif in jade, see one attributed to the Song period, included in the exhibition Chinese Jade Animals, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1996, cat. no. 90, and sold in these rooms, 5th April 2017, lot 3321, from the Chang Shou Studio.

Important Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong