A yellow jade figure of a deer 17th century | 十七世紀 黃玉臥鹿
Property from the Tuyet Nguyet and Stephen Markbreiter Collection
A yellow jade figure of a deer
Overall good condition with insignificant nibbling to extremities. Natural veining to the stone.
"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."
Humphrey Hui, Tina Pang, and Michael Liu, Virtuous Treasures: Chinese Jades for the Scholar's Table, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2008, cat. no. 101.
Small jade carvings of animals, often depicted in recumbent poses, became an essential item for the scholar’s desk as they were used both as paperweights and as works of art in their own right. This exquisite carving of a crouching deer is fashioned from a fine stone of an attractive yellow tone. The skilled artisan succeeded in capturing the lively spirit of the creature, whilst conveying the Daoist essence of longevity and immortality. The silky finish of the present piece gives it an extremely tactile quality.
Compare a white jade carving of a mythical beast and its cub from the collection of Mr and Mrs Philip Chu, with closely related treatment of the facial contours, included in the Min Chiu Society exhibition Chinese Jade Carving, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1983, cat. no. 143; and another jade figure of a ram from the Peony Collection, exhibited in Angus Forsyth and Brian McElney, Jades from China, The Museum of East Asian Art, Bath, 1994, cat. no. 277.
Jade carvings of deer can be found as early as the Tang dynasty, when they began to be widely associated with Daoist notions of immortal worlds. Compare a Tang-dynasty celadon jade crouching deer in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, smaller in size and with a flat, oval-shaped horn on the top of its head, illustrated in Zhongguo yuqi quanji [Complete collection of Chinese jade], vol. 5, Shijiazhuang, 1993, pl. 38.
朱家祥伉儷收藏有一白玉子母瑞獸，面部輪廓處理相類，可資比較，曾展於《中國玉雕》，香港藝術館，香港，1983年，編號143；牡丹堂藏另有一相類臥羊作例，曾展於霍爾及麥雅理，《Jades from China》，東亞藝術博物館，巴斯，1994年，編號277。