Lot 649. A finely carved white jade beaker vase group, Qing dynasty, Qianlong period (1736-1795); 7 1/4 in., 18.4 cm. Estimate 30,000 — 40,000 USD. Lot sold 96,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's.

the flattened lobed gu beaker of quatrefoil section, the central bulb carved with taotie masks between keyfret blades at the lobed pedestal foot and trumpet neck, set upon pierced rockwork bearing flower sprays, with a pair of attendant laughing boys bearing a dog and a bird, and swirling clouds, set at the back with a very large dragon with barbed spine climbing to peer over the rim towards a 'flaming pearl', green-stained ivory openwork stand.

Provenance: Collection of Mr. Walter Stein.
Collection of Dr. Roy & Elaine Patterson, Wilmette, Illinois.
Acquired S. Bernstein & Co., San Francisco, 19th April 1993.

ExhibitedChinese Art from Distant Centuries, S. Bernstein & Co., San Francisco, 1993, cat.no. 29

Note: Compare a white jade gu vase decorated with a similar slender, scaly dragon but lacking attendant boys, illustrated in Robert Kleiner, Chinese Jades from the Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman, Hong Kong, 1996, no. 145; and another illustrated in J.J. Schedel, The Splendor of Jade, New York, 1974, pl. 49.  See also a related yellow jade vase similarly carved with both a clambering dragon and boys, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Zhongguo yuti quanji, Hebei, 2005, no. 227 and 228, p. 596..

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, including Property from the Collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, 19-20 march 2007