Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Period: Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911).
Date: 18th to 19th century.
Medium: Nephrite jade.
Colour: Light green.
Dimensions: H. 17.5 cm; W. 14.5 cm; D. 8.5 cm.

The delicate colour of the jade is enhanced by the fineness of the workmanship, which easily allows light to penetrate the stone.

The rhyton or drinking cup rises from the back of a lion.  Both sides of the cup depict the shou character for longevity carved in low-relief, and framed by scrolls also carved in low-relief.  The lip of the vessel has a delicate curl with a fine scroll protruding just underneath.  A sinewy dragon crawls up the back with its front paws holding onto the edge of the cup.  Another dragon, with a very long bifurcated tail, stands on the side edge of the cup with head turned backwards and a long beard touching the middle of its back.