Lot 3630. A rare yellow jade 'chilong' vase and cover, Incised seal mark and period of Qianlong (1736-1795), 14 cm., 5 1/2  in. Estimate 10,000,000 — 15,000,000 HKD (1,290,000 — 1,935,000 USD)Lot sold 12,080,000 HK (1,558,320 USD). © Sotheby's

the baluster body rising from a splayed foot to an angular shoulder and waisted neck, the neck flanked by a pair of 'C'-scroll handles, the body deftly worked in high relief with a flaming pearl and three clambering chilong, one of them with its paws resting on cloud swirls, the cover tapering to an angular shoulder and surmounted by a waisted neck flanked by a pair of handles, the base incised with a four-character seal mark, the stone of an even greenish-yellow colour.

ProvenanceCollection of the Virginia Museum of Art, Virginia.
Sotheby’s New York, 24th March 1998, lot 347 (part lot).
Christie’s Hong Kong, 3rd November 1998, lot 879.

NoteMasterfully carved with playful chilong chasing a flaming pearl, this vase is notable for the luminous yellow stone, the quality of which has been accentuated by the rhythmic movement of the chilong. The boulder used for making this vase is of a brilliant colour, with few flaws, and particularly striking for its saturated colouration of tone. Yellow jade was much treasured by the Qing court for its association with the Imperial colour of yellow.

A yellow jade vase and cover carved with chilong, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in The Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum. Jade, vol. 10, Qing Dynasty, Beijing, 2011, pl. 31; another is illustrated in Roger Keverne, Jade, London, 1991, p. 151, fig. 55; a smaller example, lacking the cover, was sold in our New York rooms, 28th May 1991, lot 27; and a fourth vase, but without handles, in the Baron Von Oertzen collection, illustrated in Jade. Essence of Hills and Streams, Cape Town, 1969, pl. D44, was sold in these rooms, 4th April 2012, lot 3205.

Sotheby'sImportant Chinese Works of Art, Hong Kong, 07 avr. 2015