Lot 2867. A rare jade bixie, Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD)3. 1/8 in. (8.2 cm.) wide. Estimate HKD 800,000 - HKD 1,200,000Price realised HKD 1,000,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2020. 

The mythical beast is shown crouched low in an attacking stance standing on four sharply clawed feet. Its head is slightly turned to one side as it bares its ferocious teeth and bulging eyes, further detailed to the body with fine incisions and a bifurcated tail, wood  box.

ProvenanceKu Ngar Antique Ltd., Hong Kong
E Yuan Tang Chinese Art, Taipei, acquired in 1992.

Note: A closely related carved jade bixie, also dated to the Han dynasty in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Jadeware (I), Hong Kong, 1995, p. 240, no. 201. Though slightly longer in size (10.9 cm.), it is notable that both beasts are carved naturalistically with an alert posture and ferocious features. Compare also to another bixie dated to the Western Han dynasty in the collection of the Xianyang Museum in Shaanxi province, illustrated in Zhongguo yuqi quanji-qin han, vol. 4, Shijiazhuang, 1993, p. 109, no. 148 (fig. 1).


A jade bixie, Western Han dynasty in the collection of the Xianyang Museum in Shaanxi province.

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 9 July 2020