Sunday, June 16, 2013




Period: Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911).
Date: 18th century.
Medium: Nephrite jade
Colour: Grey/white with a hint of celadon and some small dark inclusions.
Dimensions: H. 31.5 cm; W. 14.5 cm.

The low-relief pattern is of Mughal design, finely carved with thin walls, octagonal in shape.  The lid has a tall hollow knob, also octagonal which is decorated with a chrysanthemum on the top.  The tall foot-rim is flared and hollow.  The handles are chrysanthemums, in pierced work, with the stem and leaves forming a loop through which a loose ring hangs.



Period: Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911)
Date: 18th century.
Medium: Nephrite jade.
Colour: Pale celadon with russet and brown tonings and small black inclusions.
Dimensions: H. 32.5 cm; W. 14.7 cm.

The hexagonal jar is decorated around the body with a continuing pattern of a hunting scene.  The foot rim is flared and hollowed and the handles are formed by the heads of bearded rams.


Period: 18th century.
Date: Possibly Yongzheng.
Medium: Nephrite jade.
Colour: Striking yellow-green with brown markings.
Dimensions: H. 25.3 cm; W. 14.5 cm; D. 6 cm.

The ovoid jar is decorated in low-relief carving, depicting two sinewy dragons standing with heads bowed towards the flaming pearl between them.  The handles are elephant heads each with the trunk forming a loop through which a ring hangs. A finely carved dragon runs down each side, with head turned to look upwards.  The lid is decorated with stylized dragons and the knob with clouds.  The top of the knob has a diamond shaped pattern divided into quarters, each quarter decorated with fine geometric spriral leiwen patterns.

There are a few stories about the dragon and the flaming pearl.  Perhaps the one that strikes a chord is that they are fighting over the sacred pearl of wisdom or, in early Taoism, yang energy.  In Buddhism it is more literally the pearl in the lotus, a jewel that grants all wishes.


Period: Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911)
Date: 18th to 19th century.
Medium: Nephrite jade.
Colour: Light olive/celadon with light brown tonings.
Dimensions: H. 17 cm; Diameter 11 cm.

The simple but attractive pattern of the lobed jar is in the form of lotus petals, and the inside walls are plain.  The lid is topped by a lotus bud and the lobes of the petals surround it, forming a scalloped flaring edge.  The bulbous shoulders of the jar slope down to a narrow recessed foot rim.



Period: Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911).
Date: 18th century.
Medium: Nephrite jade.
Colour: Creamy white with slight brown tone.
Dimensions: H. 25.5 cm; W. 16 cm; D. 6.8 cm.

The ovoid jar is decorated in the archaistic style.  Emulating the wonderful art of the past showed the respect in which it was held.  The Ming and Qing dynasties used these early patterns as inspiration for fine works in jade.

The domed lid has a plain knob and a taotie on the back and front.  The vessel has a handle on each side composed of an animal head with a loop and ring.  The neck has a row of upward pointing leaf patterns, each holding a cicada with head down.  This is followed by dragons facing each other.  The main body of the vessel is decorated with a large taotie on each side.  The foot slopes outward and has two bands of fine spirals or leiwen.  These fine spirals fill all the spaces in the background of the patterns.