An unusual altered olive-green jade openwork fitting, early 6th century AD

Lot 937, An unusual altered olive-green jade openwork fitting, early 6th century ADEstimate $80,000 – $120,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2016.

 Possibly a hilt, the fitting is drilled at one end with two circular sockets, and is carved in openwork with a scaly dragon with prominent nostrils and a long mane that flows backwards to join the upswept tail shown striding forward within the openwork curve of the fitting. The olive-green stone has extensive ivory-colored, opaque alteration. 3 ¼ in. (8.3 cm.) long, box

ProvenanceB. K. Wong, Hong Kong, 6 October 1990.

LiteratureNicole De Bisscop, Chinese Jade and Scroll Paintings from the Dongxi Collection, Brussels, 1995, p. 71, no. 37.
Filippo Salviati, "The Dongxi Collection of Chinese Jades", Orientations, November 1995, p. 50, fig. 12.

ExhibitedChinese Jade and Scroll Paintings from the Dongxi Collection, Kredietbank Gallery, Brussels, 25 October - 17 December 1995; Kredietbank Luxembourg, 1 February - 13 April 1996, no. 37.

NotesAs Nicole De Bisscop notes in Chinese Jade and Scroll Paintings from the Dongxi Collection, Brussels, 1995, p. 74, the powerfully rendered winged dragon on this extremely rare fitting radiates strength which is accentuated by the openwork C-shaped curl suggestive of a surging wave. In both design and dynamism, the dragon recalls striding gilt-bronze figures of dragons dating to the Northern Wei period, such as the two included in the exhibition Art of the Six Dynasties, Centuries of Change and Innovation, China House Gallery/China Institute in America, New York, 29 October 1975 – 1 February 1976, nos. 37 (collection of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd) and 38 (The Art Museum, Princeton University). 

Christie's. DONGXI STUDIO- IMPORTANT CHINESE JADE AND HARDSTONE CARVINGS FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION, 17 March 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza