Lot 105. A spinach-green jade archaistic incense burner and cover, gui, Qianlong-Jiaqing period; 14.2cm (5 5/8in) wide (3). Estimate HK$80,000 - 120,000 (US$10,000 - 15,000). Sold for HK$ 375,000 (€43,030). Photo: Bonhams.
Carved around the sides with confronted archaistic dragons, flanked by a pair of handles in the form of chi dragons clambering through horizontal loops, raised on a splayed foot encircled by pendent petals, with a key-fret border around the rim and foot ring, the domed cover with a narrow band of taotie masks interrupted by ingot-shaped flanges, below the circular knop carved with a coiled dragon in relief, the stone of varying darker and lighter spinach-green tones, fitted box.
Provenance: Christie's London, 6 June 1988, lot 16
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 17 November 1988, lot 429
Note: The archaistic design of taotie masks, notched flanges and chi dragon handles on the present lot, is consistent with the Qing court's fascination with antiquity, which influenced jade craftsmanship. The Qianlong emperor proposed to 'restore ancient ways', reflecting on his concerns with drawing moral strength and righteousness from the examples of the Ancients; see Chang Li-tuan, The Refined Taste of the Emperor: Special Exhibition of Archaic and Pictorial Jades of the Ch'ing Court, Taipei, 1997, p.49.