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A fine and rare white and russet jade 'lingzhi fungus' washer, Qianlong. Photo: Bonhams

The fine white stone of even tone attractively contrasting with the bright russet inclusions and crisply carved as a lobed vessel with a lingzhi fungus-shaped rim embellished on the exterior with a leafy spray issuing two peony blossoms and one bud, all raised on four delicate lobed feet, wood stand. 8.8cm (3 1/2in) wide (2). Estimate £30,000 - 50,000 (€37,000 - 61,000)

Provenance: Roger Keverne Ltd., London
An English private collection

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Notes: The present lot is notable for the fine white colour of the jade, attractively set off by the contrasting russet inclusions, as well as for the exceptional crispness and clarity of the carving which is most suited to the delicate nature of this small vessel.

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The lingzhi fungus is a symbol for longevity as it was considered the food of the Immortals, and it also represents wish fulfillment since its shape resembles that of the ruyi sceptre. It therefore features prominently in many aspects of Chinese art, and was particularly popular on pieces intended as birthday gifts. For a related white and russet jade lingzhi fungus washer, but slightly smaller and with a more rounded form, see R.Keverne (ed.), Jade, London, 1995, p.158, fig.77.

Bonhams. FINE CHINESE ART. London, New Bond Street, 15 May 2014 -