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    Sale 2238

    Masterworks of Ancient and Imperial China

    17 September 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 562

    A GREENISH-WHITE JADE DOUBLE-GOOSE-FORM BOX AND COVER

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GREENISH-WHITE JADE DOUBLE-GOOSE-FORM BOX AND COVER
    Intricately carved as two geese and their two goslings standing amidst a tangle of long-leafed stems of millet, the bodies of the geese forming two oval-shaped compartments, while the legs and feet of the birds, and the intertwined stems and leaves form the openwork base, the well-polished stone of greenish-white tone
    5½ in. (14 cm.) high, wood stand


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    According to Terese Tse Bartholomew in Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art, Hong Kong, 2006, p. 192, the goose mates for life, and is therefore symbolic of weddings. It is also a harbinger of good news. This is derived from the story of Su Wu, who was captured by Xiongnu in the second century BC. He was able to inform the emperor of his whereabouts by attaching a letter to the leg of a goose that was returning to China, and he was subsequently rescued.

    Compare a similarly constructed box carved as eight geese standing amidst prays of millet, dated to the 18th century and in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, illustrated by M. Wilson, Chinese Jades, London, 2004, p. 57, no. 59.