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Lot 3279. A white jade tripod censer and cover, Qing dynasty, 19th century. Estimate 1,000,000 — 1,500,000 HKD. Lot sold 2,660,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's 

the globular body raised on three cabriole legs issuing from mythical-beast heads, flanked by a pair of lion heads handles set within angular scrolls and suspending loose rings, the fitted domed cover surmounted with a knop in openwork, meticulously carved with a crouched Buddhist lion grasping a peony in its mouth, the glassy stone of an even white tone with subtle milky inclusions, original carved wood stand and fitted wood box; 18.5 cm., 7 1/4 in.

Provenance: An old Japanese collection.

NotesThis censer is impressive for the large size and even hues of the stone. By restricting the intricate carved decorative elements to the outer sections, namely the feet, handles and finial, the carver has created a frame around the body and cover that have been left undecorated to display the quality of the jade stone. A censer of this type, but with four ringed lion-mask handles, from the Su Lin An collection, was sold in these rooms, 31st October 1995, lot 331; and another of slightly smaller size and with two Buddhist lions surmounting the cover, was sold in our New York rooms, 18th March 2008, lot 32. For a slightly earlier censer of this type, but with a more compressed body and the finial carved with three Buddhist lions, see one sold in our New York rooms, 13th March 1970, lot 114, and again in these rooms, 8th April 2011, lot 3235. 

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, Hong Kong, 04 Apr 2012