Lot 106. A fine Mughal very pale green jade lobed bowl, India, 18th century; 16.5cm (6 1/2in) wideEstimate 10 000 € - 15 000. Sold for €20,400. Photo Fabrice Gousset.

Of oval petal lobed form, set on a short foot carved with a large chrysanthemum flowerhead, each lobe finely carved to the exterior with a flower spray issuing leafy stems to each side, each long end with a flowerbud and demi leaf handle, the very pale semi-translucent stone polished to a high lustre, with some pale cloudy inclusions

Provenance: Robert Rousset, Paris (1901-1981)
Jean-Pierre Rousset, Paris (1936-2021).

NoteMughal jade vessels are renowned for their exceptionally thinly carved walls and naturalistic motifs. Such finely carved pieces from Mughal India were introduced to the Imperial Court during the Qianlong reign as tribute ware. It appears that the first documented piece arrived in 1758, and further pieces were presented to the Imperial Court from 1760 onwards, once Xinjiang was secured under the Qing administrative control.

The Qianlong emperor greatly admired the fine quality of the Mughal jade workmanship, and wrote poems praising the Mughal pieces in his collection, describing them as 'thin as paper'. The thinness of the walls and simplicity of the carving in the Mughal style are particularly well suited to reveal the beauty of the jade stone itself. Indeed the apparent thinness is often as much the effect of the delicate translucency of the stone as it is a reflection of the carver's masterful skill.

A large number of Mughal and Mughal-style jade pieces in the Imperial collections are now in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, of which many were illustrated in Exquisite Beauty: Islamic Jades, Taipei, 2007. See for example the open dish form, and small handles shaped like gently dropping fruit, on nos.48 (incised with a Qianlong mark) and 56; see also the similar treatment of the fruit handles and soft greyish-green stone of no.57. Another similar example in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in the Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum: Jade 10: Qing Dynasty, Beijing, 2011, no.217.

See a related Mughal jade lobed bowl, India, circa 1700, which was sold at Christie's New York, 19 June 2019, lot 361.

Cf. my post: A Mughal jade lobed bowl,India, circa 1700

Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr Paris. The Robert and Jean-Pierre Rousset Collection of Asian Art: A Century of Collecting - Part 1. Paris, 25 october 2022.