Lot 3330. A Rare Black and White Jade ‘Chilong’ Washer, Seal Mark and Period of Jiaqing (1796-1820). H 9.8cm W 20cm. Sold for HKD 660,000 (Estimate HKD 700,000 - 900,000). © Poly Auction Hong Kong Limited 2022
Provenance: 1. Collection of Mr. Pezzoli, Paris, France, 1986
2. Sotheby's Hong Kong, 7 October 2010, no. 2167
3. Collection of the Duchamp family, Paris, France.
Note: The black nephrite is of a thick, rich, warm jade, with naturalistic black and white textures, and of uniformly thick form. The mouth is recessed, the shoulders rounded, the belly slightly bulging, and the abdomen tapering below, with no footrim; the foot inscribed in negative seal script, 'Made during the Jiaqing period of the Qing dynasty'. The three spirits and dragons are carved in high relief with chi dragons, all of which are seen flying through the clouds, surrounded by a band of shallowly carved formalized clouds, as if they were travelling between water and clouds.
Black and white nephrite is often referred to as 'playful', meaning that the natural colour, texture, or imperfections of the jade material are used as a motif and feature of the finished product. The three chi dragons cling to the rim of the brush wash, blending into the jade wash in an elegant and charming manner.
Chi dragons have long been found in jade excavations from early cultures, and there are also many double chi dragons in the Qing collection. Reference to two green jade examples sold at Sotheby's, London, 18 June 1968, no. 172, and 12-13 October 1971, no. 105.
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Poly Auction Hong Kong. The Duchange Family Collection of Important Chinese Art II, Hong Kong, 2 December 2021