Lot 2704. A very rare green jade toothed animal mask ornament, late Hongshan Culture, circa 3500-3000 BC; 7 7/8 in. (19.6 cm.) wide. Estimate HKD 300,000 - HKD 500,000. Price realised HKD 10,900,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The well-polished stone is carved and pierced in the form of an animal mask. It is decorated with arched brows, circular eyes, and horns which are carved to the top of the curved protruding ears. The details of the face are carefully rendered with thick concave troughs and the bottom of the jade is carved, box.

Provenance: The Yangdetang Collection, Taipei, acquired prior to 1995.

Literature: Teng Shu-p’ing, Collectors Exhibition of Archaic Chinese Jades, Taipei, 1995, pl. 1.

Exhibited: National Palace Museum, Collectors Exhibition of Archaic Chinese Jades, Taipei, 1995, Catalogue, pl. 1.

NoteA jade mask ornament with very similar central design but of a different shape at the two ends is in the National Palace Museum Collection (acquisition no. gou yu 272), illustrated in Art in Quest of Heaven and Truth- Chinese Jades through the Ages, Taipei, 2012, pl. 3-3-28. An even more similar example, measuring 17.2 cm. wide, is in the Freer Gallery of Art Collection; its line drawing illustrated in Teng Shu-p’ing, Collectors’ Exhibition of Archaic Chinese Jades, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1999, p. 14, fig. 5:2. Another similar but mostly calcified example was in the Lant’ien Shanfang Collection, ibid., pl. 13. A jade mask ornament of similar design but with shorter ‘teeth’, attributed to the Hongshan Culture, now in the Tianjin Art Museum, is illustrated in Zhongguo yuqi quanji -1- yuanshi shehui, Shijiazhuang, 1993, pl. 14.

Christie's. Chinese Archaic Jades from The Yangdetang CollectionHong Kong, 27 November 2017