An exceptionally large and extremely rare zitan-mounted imperial inscribed archaic jade bi, Eastern Han dynasty, the inscription and the stand dated to the gengyin year of the Qianlong period (corresponding to 1770) | 東漢／清乾隆 御賞嵌「延年」龍鳳紋璧紫檀插屏 《乾隆庚寅孟春月御題》、《乾隆庚寅御題》款 「古香」、「太玉」、「乾」、「隆」印
Property from an Important Asian Collection 重要亞洲收藏
Property from an Important Asian Collection
An exceptionally large and extremely rare zitan-mounted imperial inscribed archaic jade bi
Eastern Han dynasty, the inscription and the stand dated to the gengyin year of the Qianlong period (corresponding to 1770)
東漢／清乾隆 御賞嵌「延年」龍鳳紋璧紫檀插屏 《乾隆庚寅孟春月御題》、《乾隆庚寅御題》款
the exceptionally large jade bi dated to the Eastern Han dynasty, boldly worked on both sides with an overall array of small raised circular studs, encircled by an intricately reticulated band of the characters yan and nian at the top and bottom respectively, surrounded by two writhing dragons and one phoenix, the top with an extended openwork flange of a pair of confronting dragons, the outer edge masterfully inscribed with a long inscription in zhuanshu composed by the Qianlong Emperor and carved to his order, mounted within a carved zitan table screen, the front with a central carved wood boss with the trigram qian, which locks into the back panel to secure the jade, and carved with archaistic patterns to the front, the reverse carved and picked out in gold with an almost identical inscription written in lishu differing only in the date, ending with gengyin yuti (imperial inscription of the gengyin year), the stand and sides carved with further archaistic patterns
disc 23.8 cm
overall h. 30.8 cm
通高 30.8 公分，12⅛英寸
璧 23.8 公分，9⅜英寸
As visible in the catalogue, and as might be expected of an archaic jade bi of this size, rarity and fragility, there have been several old breaks, and there are signs of old restoration, possibly undertaken at the court. There is an old 1.5cm chip to the upper right arch of the front of the zitan stand, as visible in the catalogue illustration. The piece is in good condition overall, and has been very well preserved over the years.
"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."
Christie's Hong Kong, 10th October 1990, lot 1901.
The Lantian Shanfang Collection, c. 1995.
The Dexingshuwu Collection.
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 8th April 2007, lot 603.
Teng Shu-P’ing, One Hundred Jades from the Lantian Shanfang Collection, Taipei, 1995, pl. 100.
Anthony Lin, ‘Relics of an Immutable Heritage – Jades from the Lan Tien Shan Fang Collection’, Orientations, October 1995, vol. 26, no. 9, pp. 84-86, fig. 8, reprinted in Chinese Jade: Selected Articles from Orientations 1983-2003, Hong Kong, 2005, pp. 161-163, fig. 8.
Teng Shu-P’ing, 'Changle you yannian. Donghan ji xiang mingwen yubi de xin renzhi [Longevity. New knowledge of inscribed jade discs of the Eastern Han dynasty]', National Palace Museum Monthly of Chinese Art, vol. 13, no. 10, issue 154, January 1996, pp. 64-79, fig. 24.
林華田，〈Relics of an Immutable Heritage – Jades from the Lan Tien Shan Fang Collection〉，《Orientations》，1995年10月，卷26，第9期，頁84-86，圖8，重刊《Chinese Jade: Selected Articles from Orientations 1983-2003》，香港，2005年，頁161-163，圖8