A hardwood four-panel screen inset with jadeite plaques Late Qing dynasty | 晚清 硬木嵌翠玉四扇圍屏
Property from the Collection of Sir Run Run Shaw
A hardwood four-panel screen inset with jadeite plaques
Late Qing dynasty
each fold of the screen 32 by 176 cm, eight of the jadeite panels 21.7 by 31.2 cm, remaining twelve jadeite panels 15.6 by 21.7 cm
Overall good condition. The jadeite plaques, with natural inclusions, are generally very well preserved. The frames have some typical age crackles, old stains and minor chips especially to the joints and 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."
T.Y. Chao family collection, no. 189.
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 19th May 1987, lot 363.
This jadeite-mounted screen would have stood in a grand hall to create a striking backdrop for a formal reception or official event. The emerald green of the stone, juxtaposed with the attractive brown tone of the wood, creates a striking visual effect. Intricately decorated with panels of birds and flowers on one side and enchanting landscapes on the other, the screen would have been a perfect statement of the sophisticated taste of the master of the house.
Screens were movable partitions that could protect, divide, enhance and beautify a room and were essential elements in the furnishings of Chinese houses. Multi-panelled screens have a long history in China, developing from single-panelled examples made as early as the Warring States period (475-221 BC). Screens gradually became larger, and the most impressive examples were made in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Monumental, richly embellished screens such as the present example were made only for the wealthiest aristocratic families.