An impressive white jade archaistic censer and cover. Qing dynasty, 18th-19th century - Photo Sotheby's

carved in the form of an archaic vessel fangding, the slightly tapered rectangular body supported on four lion heads projecting cylindrical legs encircled by two raised double fillets, rising to a square-cut rim set with two arched handles pierced with angular scrolls and surmounted by 'flaming pearls', each side skilfully carved in shallow relief with a taotie mask and further centred with mythical beast handles, suspending a loose ring on the larger sides and a fixed ring on the smaller ends, within 'herringbone' corners, the domed cover with canted sides similarly carved with a taotie mask within 'herringbone' frames, rising sharply to a dragon finial, the fierce animal deftly carved in openwork standing foursquare writhing among swirling clouds and flames, the translucent stone of white lustrous tone picked out with a few icy streaks and finished to a smooth polish; 24.2 cm., 9 1/2 in. Estimation: 2,000,000 - 2,500,000 HKD - Lot. Vendu 4,340,000 HKD

PROVENANCE: Collection of Ichiro Hayashibara (1908-1961)


NOTE DE CATALOGUE: Inspired by the archaic ritual bronze vessel first conceived during the Western Zhou period, the fangding, this censer embodies both tradition and innovation in its taotie design. Compare a censer of this type, but lacking the ringed mask handles and with long S-shaped handles and an architectural knop, in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, is illustrated in Rene-Yvon Lefebvre d’Argence, Chinese Jades in the Avery Brundage Collection, San Francisco, 1977, pl. LIII. A fangding with rim loop handles and dragon-form legs, the cover surmounted by a dragon knop, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, was included in the museum’s exhibition The Refined Taste of the Emperor. Special Exhibition of Archaic and Pictorial Jades of the Ch’ing Court, Taipei, 1997, cat. no. 2.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art. Hong Kong | 09 oct. 2012 www.sothebys.com