AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE WHITE AND RUSSET JADE CARVING OF A FOREIGNER, TANG DYNASTY
AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE WHITE AND RUSSET JADE CARVING OF A FOREIGNER
well carved, the standing figure slightly hunched, the left arm resting on a cane, the right arm raised to pick his ear, the expressive face in a gentle grimace, with deep bulging eyes above a broad wrinkled nose and curly beard, cloaked in a long hooded cape, falling in dynamic folds at the reverse, the stone of a pale beige tone with some sugar-brown inclusions and traces of calcification
Height 3¼ in., 8.2 cm
Overall in good condition. The left sleeve with a few small chips and the right sleeve with a small bruise. A few minute scattered nicks to the edges.
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.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
For more information on and additional videos for this lot, please contact Cindy.Qi@sothebys.com.
Collection of Stephen Junkunc, III (d. 1978).
The Tang dynasty (618-907) is characterized by its cosmopolitan openness to foreign trade and a rich flourishing of the arts. A mutual exchange of religion, ideas and culture occurred concurrently with the abundant trade along the Silk Road. Within this bustling and welcoming environment, images of foreigners became increasingly popular and were depicted in a variety of media, such as pottery, metal and jade. Depictions of foreigners during this period can be identified from the broad faces and curly facial hair.
A number of Tang dynasty jade carvings of foreigners are known. Compare one in the Palace Museum, Beijing, published in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 1995, pl. 29. Another also wearing a hooded cloak and holding a small pavilion in one hand was included in the exhibition Magic, Art and Order. Jade in Chinese Culture, Palm Springs Desert Museum, Palm Springs, 1990, cat. no. 108; a third, also depicted leaning on a stick, from the Tianhe Shanfang Collection, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 30th May 2005, lot 1534.
Compare also two Tang Dynasty jade tribute bearers from the collection of Dr. and Mrs. Cheng Tek'un, one holding a peach and the other holding a jade boulder, included in the Oriental Ceramic Society's exhibition Chinese Jade Throughout the Ages, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1975, cat. nos 216 and 219. The latter figure was also exhibited in Chinese Jades from Han to Ch'ing, Asia Society, New York, 1980, cat. no. 1, where the author of the exhibition catalogue, James C.Y. Watt, notes that whilst the style of the carving and the treatment of the figure's dress suggest a Tang dynasty attribution, it could possibly be from a later period.
Later examples include a similarly dressed figure resting on a stick and holding a brocade ball, from the Dongxi Collection, originally attributed to the Tang dynasty in the exhibition Peintures et jades chinois de la collection Dongxi [Chinese jade and scroll paintings from the Dongxi collection], Kredietbank Gallery, Brussels, 1995, cat. no. 46, and later sold as late Ming to early Qing dynasty at Christie's New York, 17th March 2016, lot 950; and another holding a stick and a lotus blossom, attributed to late Ming or 17th century, sold in these rooms, 26th February 1983, lot 406.
唐代胡人玉雕，可比較數例。北京故宮博物院收藏一例，載於《故宮博物院藏文物珍品全集•玉器（中）》，香港，1995年，圖版29。另一例胡人身披連帽斗篷，一手持小塔，曾展於 《Magic, Art and Order. Jade in Chinese Culture》，棕櫚泉沙漠博物館，棕櫚泉，1990年，編號108；再比一例，天和山房收藏，售於香港佳士得2005年5月30日，編號1534。
另比兩玉雕胡人進寶例，斷代唐，出自鄭德坤博士伉儷收藏，一例手持仙桃，另一例手持玉山，曾展於東方陶瓷學會，《Chinese Jade Throughout the Ages》，維多利亞與艾爾伯特博物館，倫敦，1975年，編號216及219。後者亦曾展於《Chinese Jades from Han to Ch'ing》，亞洲協會，紐約，1980年，編號1，圖錄作者屈志仁論述，根據該玉雕風格及胡人服飾，應屬唐代，但亦可能製於唐代之後。
另可參考唐以後作例，包括一例，胡人手持拐杖及繡球，出自東西軒收藏，展於《Peintures et jades chinois de la collection Dongxi》，Kredietbank Gallery，布魯塞爾，1995年，編號46，當時斷代唐，後售於紐約佳士得時改為斷代明末至清初，售於2016年3月17日，編號950；另比一例，胡人手持拐杖及蓮花，斷代明末或十七世紀，售於紐約蘇富比1983年2月26日，編號406。