A pale green jade archaistic vase and cover, Qing dynasty, 18th-19th century. Photo Sotheby's

the flattened ovoid body rising from a stepped foot to a waisted neck, flanked by a pair of dragon mask handles issuing loops suspending loose rings, both faces carved with stylised taotie masks between archaistic geometric scroll bands, the neck with pendent cicada lappets, similarly decorated to the domed cover, the stone of a pale celadon tone. Quantité: 2 - 22.8cm., 9in. Estimation 80,000 — 120,000 GBP

Provenance: Collection of M. Le Baron Philippe de Noaille, France.
An Asian Private Collection.

The taste for archaism during the Qing Dynasty is embodied in this vase, which draws its inspiration from archaic inlaid bronzes and reinterprets them. While the toatie band and cicada lappets featured on Chinese bronzes from the Neolithic period, they have been been stylised and placed on a vessel of modern silhouette and ringed dragon handles.

Related examples include a celadon jade vase sold in our New York rooms, 12th September 2012, lot 299; and two vases sold at Christie’s New York, one from the collection of Edgar and Hedwig Worch, 2nd June 1994, lot 100, and the other of a greenish-white tone sold, 15th September 2009, lot 129. Vases of this form are also known with elephant head handles, such as one sold in our Paris rooms, 15th December 2011, lot 126, and another sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 1st to 3rd May 1994, lot 835. Compare also a fine Qianlong mark and period vase of carved with in a similar fashion, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Yang Boda, Chinese Jade Throughout the Ages. Qing Dynasty, vol. 12, Chicago, 1997, pl. 30.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art. London, 14 mai 2014 - http://www.sothebys.com/