A RARE LARGE JADEITE 'BOY' HEADREST
the smiling figure kneeling and resting forward on his elbows with the head raised and turned slightly to one side, holding a sheng in one hand and lotus stems in the other extending over his shoulders to a large leaf covering his back forming the surface of the pillow, the stone of striated apple-green colour with mottling and some long flaws
Length 30.3 cm, 11⅞ in.
There are several natural flaws including one that runs across the left side of the body, and some light surface wear and nicks to the extremities. The knees and elbows have some expected wear. The actual colour is less yellow and with more apple-green colour compared to the catalogue illustration.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Sir Ernest Cassel (1852-1921), London.
Thence by descent.
International Exhibition of Chinese Art, Royal Academy of Art, London, 1935, cat. no. 2873.
《中國藝術國際展覽會》， 英國皇家藝術學院， 倫敦， 1935年，編號2873
This jadeite pillow has been deftly carved in the form of a plump kneeling boy from an exceptionally large jadeite boulder of brilliant and variegated green tone. Pillows in the form of boys originated in the Song dynasty (960-1279), when they were given as wedding gifts to newly wedded couples. They represented the wish for the continuation of the family line and the birth of male offspring. The scholar Sun Simiao (581-682) in his Beiji qianjin yaofang [Prescriptions worth a thousand, for every emergency], expresses the widespread belief that the sex of foetuses could be influenced by the expectant mother through what she saw and ate, her emotions as well as her dreams. These figurative pillows were thus believed to both aid in the onset of pregnancy and positively influence mothers’ dreams. See Ann Barrott Wicks, Children in Chinese Art, Honolulu, 2002, p. 12.
A closely related jadeite boy pillow from the collection of Mr. H. Whitaker was included in the exhibition Catalogue of a Collection of Objects of Chinese Art, Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, 1915, pl. XIII (top); a pair was sold twice in out Hong Kong rooms, 2nd December 1976, lot 726, and again, 18th November 1986, lot 193, from the collection of T.Y. Chao; and a smaller pair of pillows was sold at Christie’s New York, 21st September 2004, lot 118
Compare also a smaller green jade pillow in the form of a boy, from the collection of Heber R. Bishop in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, accession no. 02.18.426.
本玉枕雕工精湛，刻劃童子跪姿，原玉龐大，玉色青翠鮮艷，深淺相間，秀麗雅緻。此枕器形源自宋代，贈予新婚夫婦為賀禮，寄願早生貴子，傳宗接代。古人多有認爲，婦人所見所食、所思所夢，可影響胎兒性別，此說亦見於唐孫思邈（581-682年）著《備急千金要方》。參閲Ann Barrott Wicks，《Children in Chinese Art》，火奴魯魯，2002年，頁12。
比較一例，出自H. Whitaker先生收藏，曾展於《Catalogue of a Collection of Objects of Chinese Art》，Burlington Fine Arts Club，倫敦，1915年，圖版XIII（上）；另一對例售於香港蘇富比1976年12月2日，編號726，後易手於1986年11月18日，編號193，出自趙從衍收藏，另一對例尺寸較小，售於紐約佳士得2004年9月21日，編號118。
再比一例，尺寸較小，童子造型，出自紐約大都會美術博物館Heber R. Bishop收藏，藏品編號02.18.426。