19 septembre 2023

Archaic Jade from Han dynasty to be sold at Sotheby's New York, 19 September 2023



Lot 208. Property from a distinguish private collection. An archaic white jade 'phoenix' pendant (Xi), Western Han dynasty (206 BC-9 AD). Length 10.2 cm. Estimate 20,000 - 30,000 USDLot sold 31,750 USD. © Sotheby's 2023

ProvenanceAcquired prior to 2000. 

NoteCompare a closely related pair of pendants excavated in Dabaotai, Fengtai district, Beijing, now housed in the Dabaotai Museum of Western Han Tombs, Beijing, illustrated in Gu Fang, Zhongguo chutu yuqi quanji / The Complete Collection of Jades Unearthed in China, vol. 1 Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Beijing, 2005, pl. 17. 




Lot 210. Property from a distinguish private collection. An extremely rare and important archaic green jade 'chilong' disc (Bi), Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). Length 15.4 cm. Estimate 300,000 - 500,000 USDLot sold 482,600 USD. © Sotheby's 2023

ProvenanceAcquired prior to 2000. 

NoteThe present piece is an elegant example of the mastery of Han jade carving. The production of jade discs, known as bi, can be traced back to the Neolithic period. In the Han Dynasty, the design became more elaborate, with an openwork extension added to the circular shape.

This bi disc is notably distinguished by the beautifully carved chi dragon in low relief. Examples featuring the design of chi dragons frolicking within the clouds are mostly found in openwork, as illustrated in Yang Boda, Guanshi suocang Zhongguo guyu / Chinese Archaic Jades from the Kwan Collection, Hong Kong, 1994, pls 204, 205 and 207.

Dynamic carving of chi dragon is also found on other types of jade works, see a jade arc pendant with dragon and phoenix patterns, attributed to the second century B.C., excavated at Shizishan site in the Jiangsu Province, illustrated in The Search for Immortality. Tomb Treasures of Han China, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 2012, cat. no. 67.

Compare a related example but with a more exaggerated openwork extension, unearthed at Majiazhong site in Shandong Province, illustrated in Zhongguo yuqi quanji [Complete collection of Chinese jades], vol. 4, Shijiazhuang, 1993, pl. 265; see also two further examples of this type, carved with siling (four spiritual animals) motifs, one from the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum and attributed to the Eastern Han dynasty, illustrated in Ming Wilson, Chinese Jades, London, 2004, pl. 17 (accession no. A22-1935) (fig. 1), the other without an extension, from the Qing imperial collection and still in Beijing, illustrated in Gugong Bowuyuan cang wenwu zhenpin quanji. Yu qi (shang) / The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Jadeware (I), Hong Kong, 1995, pl. 210.





Lot 217. Property from a distinguish private collection. An archaic jade 'chilong' scabbard slide, Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). Length 8.8 cm. Estimate 30,000 - 50,000 USDLot sold 35,560 USD. © Sotheby's 2023

ProvenanceJ.J. Lally & Co., New York, 2016.

ExhibitedAncient Chinese Jade: From the Neolithic to the Han, J.J. Lally & Co., New York, 2016, cat. no. 67. 



Lot 245. Property from a distinguish private collection. An archaic green jade disc (Bi), Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). Length 18.6 cm. Estimate 10,000 - 20,000 USDLot sold 12,700 USD. © Sotheby's 2023

Provenance: Mryna Myers, Paris, circa 2003. 






Lot 252. Property from a distinguish private collection. An archaic jade scabbard chape, Western Han dynasty (206 BC-9 AD). Height 6.5 cm. Estimate 4,000 - 6,000 USDLot sold 8,255 USD. © Sotheby's 2023

Provenance: J.J. Lally & Co., New York, 2018.

ExhibitedAncient Chinese Jade, J.J. Lally & Co., New York, 2018, cat. no. 116. 

Sotheby's. Vestiges of Ancient China, New York, 19 September 2023 

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