Lot 27. A White Jade Dragon and Phoenix Vase and Cover, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period (1736-1795). Estimate £80,000–120,000. Lot sold £273,000. Photo Sotheby's.
Provenance: Collection of a noble French family.
S. Bulgari, Rome.
Note: This vase is impressive for its large form and delicately carved design expertly fashioned in low relief. It belongs to a group of jade vessels made under the Qianlong Emperor that successfully combine archaic forms and designs with contemporary styles in response to the Emperor’s eclectic taste. The craftsman of the present piece has successfully created a highly original and contemporary object by combining the archaic bronze hu form with dragon and phoenix roundels, and zoomorphic masks on the sides that feature a ‘C’-shaped design which recalls ‘C’-scrolls of European rocaille designs.
Compare a white jade vase of similar form and size, also modelled with phoenix handles but carved in relief with birds in a landscape, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Zhongguo yuqi quanji [The complete collection of Chinese jades], vol. 6, Shijiazhuang, 1993, pl. 208; another flanked with animal-mask handles and decorated on the body with deer, from the collections of N.B. Pilcher and Alan and Simone Hartman, illustrated in Robert Kleiner, Chinese Jades from the Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman, Hong Kong, 1996, pl. 141, and sold in these rooms, 30th October 1987, lot 297; and a third, carved with a landscape and attributed to the 19th century, from the collection of Mr and Mrs Lawrence Keane, Boston, sold in our New York rooms, 15th/16th September 2015, lot 180.
A pale celadon jade 'Crane and Deer' vase and cover, Qing dynasty, 19th century. Sold for $910,000 at Sotheby's New York, 15th/16th September 2015, lot 180. Photo Sotheby's
Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, London, 08 nov. 2017, 11:00 AM