AN EXTREMELY RARE JADE VESSEL, HU EASTERN HAN DYNASTY | 東漢 玉獸首銜環壺
Property from the Hei-Chi Collection
AN EXTREMELY RARE JADE VESSEL, HU
EASTERN HAN DYNASTY
the rounded shoulder of the vessel flanked by a pair of handles, each superbly rendered in low relief as an animal mask picked out with swift incisions and suspending a mock ring, the smoothly patinated stone of a pale brown colour with grey mottles
h. 12.7 cm, 5 in.
The vase is in good condition with occasional insignificant nibbles 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. 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.
Jiang Tao and Liu Yunhui, Jades from Hei-Chi Collection II, Beijing, 2012, p. 91.
Jade vessels from the Han dynasty, made only for the use of the nobility, are extremely rare, possibly because of the inevitable waste of material involved in the production process. The deceptive simplicity of the present vessel, probably inspired by contemporaneous bronzes, conceals the technical challenge presented to the carver, who had to empty the interior through the relatively narrow mouth. No comparable example appears to have been published. Compare an elaborately carved Western Han dynasty animal mask handle, excavated from the mausoleum of Emperor Wudi (156-88 BC), Xingping, Shaanxi, included in The Complete Collection of Jades Unearthed in China, vol. 14: Shaanxi, Beijing, 2005, pl. 132, together with an undecorated stem cup of a similar greyish brown tone from the mausoleum of Emperor Zhaodi (94-74 BC), pl. 155.