A finely carved white jade 'dragon and phoenix' tripod incense burner and cover Qing dynasty, Qianlong period | 清乾隆 白玉對鳳雙龍耳盤龍鈕三足蓋爐
Property from the De An Tang Collection 德安堂藏玉
Property from the De An Tang Collection
A finely carved white jade 'dragon and phoenix' tripod incense burner and cover
Qing dynasty, Qianlong period
There is a triangular restored flake (approx. 2.5x0.8cm) to the exterior body of the censer, and another (approx 2.2x 1.6cm) to one foot. There is a minor dent to the other foot. The cover is in good overall condition. Both censer and cover with occasional minute nicks to the rims and extremities.
"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."
Collection of the Estate of the Gladys van Heukelom.
Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, 27th April 1967, lot 37.
Gladys van Heukelom 承產收藏
A Romance with Jade: From the De An Tang Collection, Yongshougong, Palace Museum, Beijing, 2004, cat. no. 107.
This exquisite jade incense burner from the Qianlong period (1736-1795) is inspired by the archaic bronze ritual food vessel, ding. It encapsulates the reverence for the past and expansion of political power in the Qianlong era. To cater to the Emperor's penchant for antiquities, vessels from the distant past inspired the creation of a wide range of jade carvings. With the Qing court capturing the jade-rich regions of Khotan and Yarkand in the mid-18th century, there was an increased supply of jade; sizeable high-quality boulders became available for making large vessels such as the present piece.
The present censer is remarkable for its massive size and lavish decoration. Elaborately carved in relief with pairs of confronting phoenix in flight, the piece is flanked by two majestic handles in the form of winged dragons carved with deep undercutting. The dome cover is crested with a knob in the form of a coiled dragon clasping a fiery pearl, carved in high relief and pierced. Opening the censer reveals an interior decorated with swirling clouds in relief. With such an abundance of ornamentation, this censer reflects the grandeur and power of the Qianlong reign.
Archaistic jade censers of this size and decoration are very rare; a celadon jade example of comparable size and design is in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Masterworks of Chinese Jade in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1969, pl. 33. Another related white jade censer from the Qing Court collection is in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Jadeware III, Hong Kong, 1995, pl. 60. Compare also a white jade example in the Baur Collection, illustrated in Pierre-F. Schneeberger, The Baur Collection Geneva: Chinese Jades and Other Hardstones, Geneva, 1976, pl. B 65. For related white jade censers, see an example from the collection of Sir Quo-Wei Lee, which is larger in size but the body undecorated, sold in these rooms, 2nd October 2018, lot 142.