Lot 22. A very fine and rare pale green jade 'lotus pod' scroll-weight, zhenzhi, Qianlong period (1736-1795); 2.1cm (4 3/4in) wide. Estimate HK$600,000 - 800,000 (US$77,000 - 100,000). Sold for HK$ 625,625 (€ 71,535) inc. premium. © Bonhams 2001-2019
Naturalistically modelled as a large lotus pod with eleven circular seeds delicately carved in relief, borne on bundled curling stems issuing a lotus flower and furled lotus leaves to the base and side of the pod, the softly polished stone of a greenish-white tone, wood stand.
Provenance: An American private collection, purchased in New York in the 1930s, and thence by descent
Sotheby's New York, 11-12 September 2012, lot 297
Exhibited, Published and Illustrated: Marchant, 90th Anniversary Exhibition: Ninety Jades for 90 Years, London, 2015, no.6.
Note: The relatively larger size of the present lot indicates it may have been used not only as display or handling object but possibly as a scroll-weight for the scholar's desk. The naturalistic rendering of the lotus pod bursting with seeds represents the auspicious wish for fertility and speedy arrival of sons. Thus, it would have been suitable as a wedding present.
Jade carvings in the form of a lotus seedpod are usually smaller in size, see an closely related example of smaller size from the National Palace Museum, Taipei (museum no.Gu-yu-000323); Another similar jade carving was unearthed in Zhejiang Province, illustrated by Gu Fang, The Complete Collection of Jades Unearthed in China, Beijing, 2005, vol.8, p.239. A third smaller lotus pod and flower of this form, from the collection of The Governor of Manchuria, was included by Marchant in their 85th anniversary exhibition of Chinese Jades from Tang to Qing, 2010, p.35, no.18; Compare also a jade carving of lotus pods similarly depicted with seeds exposed, illustrated by René-Yvon Lefebvre d'Argencé, Chinese Jades in the Avery Brundage Collection, Tokyo, 1977, pl.LI; another is illustrated by Xue Guisheng in Zhong Guo Yu Qi Shang Jian, 'Appreciation and Examination of Chinese Jades', p.319, no.618; see also a related white jade lotus pod carving, 18th century, from the collection of Lord Fairhaven at Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire (NT no.517571).
Bonhams. Marchant, est. 1925: Fine Chinese Jade Carvings, Hong Kong, 28 May 2019