Lot 630. A small pale grey and brown jade figure of Zhou Yanzi, Ming dynasty (1368-1644); 1 ¾ in. (4.5 cm.) high. Estimate USD 4,000 - USD 6,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2018
The boy, Zhou Yanzi, is shown holding a bucket as he crouches beneath a deer skin that is draped over his back and head. The deer skin is highlighted in dark brown and is carved with star markings as well as detailed with the head and the antlers.
Provenance: Acquired in Hong Kong, 1950s, and thence by descent within the family.
The Studio of the Clear Garden.
Note: Jade carvings of Zhou Yanzi represent filial piety. This is based on a Chinese folk tale of a boy named Zhou Yanzi who draped himself with a deer skin in order to join a deer herd and obtain milk for his ailing father.
A related jade figure of Zhou Yanzi is illustrated in Post-Archaic Chinese Jades from Private Collections, S. Marchant and Son, London, 2000, no. 31, and another was sold at Christie's London, 11 May 2015, lot 20.
A rare celadon and russet jade carving of Zhou Yanzi, Ming dynasty, 17th century; 2 ¾ in. (7 cm.) long. Sold for 18,750 GBP at Christie's London, 11 May 2015, lot 20. © Christie's Images Ltd 2015
Cf. my post: Chinese & Japanese auctions & exhibition of touring highlights at Christie's London in May
Christie's. The Studio of the Clear Garden: Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 22 March 2018, New York