A fine and rare Mughal-style white jade goat-shaped water dropper and stopper. Late 18th/early 19th century

The skilfully-hollowed vessel carved in the form of a recumbent goat looking forward, the curved horns resting on its shoulders, the leaf-shaped tail incised at the edges, the legs tucked underneath, with a circular opening at the top carved with a lappet border, the hollow cylindrical stopper with a lotus finial, all resting on a green-stained ivory and wood stand carved with flowers growing amidst rockwork.. 6cm (2¼in) long. (3). Sold for £64,800

Provenance: R.H.R.Palmer, collection label no.3
Palmer Inventory no.3, where it is stated that the dropper was purchased in April 1925 for £25
By descent to the present owner

Note: The white jade water dropper may be compared to the Jiaqing mark and period white jade teapot from the Qing Court Collection, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Jadeware (III), Hong Kong, 1995, pl.216 and a similar teapot from the Sir John Woolf Collection, London, illustrated by C.Michaelson in 'Introduction to the Sir John Woolf Jade Collection', Arts of Asia, 37(6), November 2007, pp.93-94, where the author notes that the Qianlong emperor reserved his highest praise for 'Hindustan' jades, had Muslim jade carvers sent to work in the Imperial Palace workshops and ordered the Imperial workshop to copy Mughal jades. The present lot and the white jade Jiaqing teapots share the features of a ram or goat head and a lotus bud shaped stopper and are polished to a high degree, a technique learned from the Mughal jade workers, and therefore appear to be part of the same group of Mughal-style jade receptacles made for the Chinese market.

Bonhams. Fine Chinese Art, 14 May 2009. New Bond Street www.bonhams.com