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    Sale 2388

    Important Chinese Jades from the Personal Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman Part II

    27 November 2007, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1547

    A FINELY CARVED WHITE JADE 'CHAMPION' VASE AND COVER

    Price Realised  

    A FINELY CARVED WHITE JADE 'CHAMPION' VASE AND COVER
    QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)

    Carved as double cylinders conjoined by an eagle with outspread wings, standing on the head of a stylised bear, the tail and hind of each creatures emerging between the vases at the rear, the domed cover ornamented with angular scrolls above lotus petal and key-fret bands, the semi-translucent stone of an even white tone with small areas of opaque inclusions
    5 1/8 in. (13 cm.) high, stand


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    The shape of this vase is sometimes known as 'champion's vase', an appellation translated from the Chinese, ying (eagle) and xiong (bear), describing the two beasts represented, but also forming the pun on the word for 'champion' or 'hero'. Alternatively, the vessel is also known as a 'nuptial cup', he jing bei, as it is believed that during the Ming dynasty, it was used as a ritual wine vessel during the wedding ceremony. The double cylinders were filled with wine to be drunk by the bride and groom as part of the marriage rites.

    Although vases of this form were popular during the Ming and Qing dynasties, this example is a very stylised interpretation of earlier Han dynasty bronzes. It is interesting to compare this piece to lot 1545 from the present sale which is far more faithful to the original archaic form but lacking the elaborate Qing refinement of the present vase.

    For a very similar spinach-jade double vase and cover, compare one in the Victoria and Albert Museum illustrated by M. Wilson, Chinese Jades, London, 2004, p. 105, pl. 103; a further Qianlong adapation of the form can be seen in a larger spinach-green jade example exhibited at the Minneapolis Museum of Art, Three Dynasties of Jade, 1971, Catalogue no. 34.

    Literature

    Robert Kleiner, Chinese Jades from the Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman, Hong Kong, 1996, no. 77


    Exhibited

    Christie's New York, 13-26 March 2001
    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, August 2003 - December 2004