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    Sale 7431

    Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    6 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 41

    A CELADON AND RUSSET JADE BIRD FINIAL

    SONG DYNASTY

    Price Realised  

    A CELADON AND RUSSET JADE BIRD FINIAL
    SONG DYNASTY
    The finial carved as a bird looking ahead with beak slightly inclined to the left, the breast incised with feathers, the wings held close to the body and incised with archaistic scrolls, the tail outstretched, the underside drilled with two overlapping circles for attachment to a staff, the stone predominantly of celadon tone with russset areas
    4in. (10cm.) long, box


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    This Song dynasty dove-shaped staff finial follows the Han dynasty tradition as a symbol awarded to men who have reached the age of 70, who were subsequently treated with greater respect. Fan Yeh explains in History of the Later Han Dynasty that doves were chosen as an emblem because of their ability to digest anything without difficulty and this implied that the recipient would perform likewise. The Han versions are most often found in silvered-bronze, an example was included in the Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong, Special Exhibition of Ancient Chinese and Ordos Bronzes, 1990, Catalogue, no. 82. It is likely that a corruption of the Han text led to the character for 'King' being interpretd as 'Jade' in the Song period and hence to the creation of the jade dove staff finials. A jade example from the collection of Wu Dacheng is illustrated in Gems of Chinese Art from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, The Avery Brundage Collection, no. 49 and again with another example in D'Argence, Chinese Jades in the Avery Brundage Collection, pl. XXIV. Watt illustrates another example in Chinese Jades from Han to Ch'ing, Catalogue, no. 79.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Christie's Hong Kong, 30 October 1995, lot 844.


    Saleroom Notice

    This lot was originally purchased from Spink & Son, London


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN


    Literature

    Wu Hung, 'Tradition and Innovation, Ancient Chinese Jades in the Gerald Godfrey Collection', fig. 5


    Exhibited

    Pacific Asia Museum, 1986, Catalogue, no. 34
    San Antonio Museum of Art, 1986
    The Dayton Art Institute, 1989, no. 137