Lot 3808. A yellow jade ram, Song to Ming dynasty; 7 cm., 2 3/4  in. Estimate 700,000 — 900,000 HKD. Lot sold 1,180,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

carved in the form of a recumbent ram with his legs tucked beneath his body, turning his head to the right, his curved horns naturalistically detailed with striations, the translucent stone of a greenish-yellow colour mottled with russet inclusions.

Note: Small jade animal sculptures, generally carved in a reclining position, became popular from the Song Dynasty, and the present piece appears to have been inspired by a Song prototype. Compare, for example, a small jade ram modelled with its head lowered and sharply turned, in the Shuisongshi Shanfang collection, included in the exhibition Exquisite Jade Carving. Figures. Animals. Ornaments, The University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1996, cat. no. 81; and another, in the collection of W.P. Chung, included in the Min Chiu Society exhibition Chinese Jade Carving, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1983, cat. no. 139.

See also a naturalistically modelled ram in a similar reclining pose, from the W.N. Chung collection, included in the exhibition Exquisite Jade Carving, op. cit., cat. no. 100; another, from the Gerald Godfrey collection, sold in these rooms, 19th November 1985, lot 35.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 08 Oct 2014