• Fine Chinese Ceramics and Work auction at Christies

    Sale 2297

    Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Including Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections

    26 March 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 1140

    A RARE LARGE SPINACH-GREEN JADE MARRIAGE BOWL

    QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A RARE LARGE SPINACH-GREEN JADE MARRIAGE BOWL
    QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)
    Thick walled and of strong proportions, carved on the exterior with the bajixiang interrupted by a pair of butterfly handles on either side, their leafy wings outstretched and joining a wide reticulated network of interlocked leafy scroll, the interior well carved in deep relief with two fruiting peach branches, a sprig of narcissus and small clusters of lingzhi and bamboo, the whole raised on five small lobed feet
    12¼ in. (31.1 cm.) across handles


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    Buddhism was the state religion of the Qing dynasty, and the Qianlong emperor was a devout practitioner of the faith. His powerful devotion to Buddhism was readily carried over into works of art made during his reign. Jades, ceramics, textiles, bronzes and other items readily incorporated Buddhist subject matter and symbolism.

    The current bowl features the bajixiang, the Eight Auspicious Buddhist Emblems, perhaps the most readily identifiable of the symbols found in Buddhist iconography. The bajixiang represent the offerings made to the Buddha Shakyamuni by the gods immediately after his enlightenment. These emblems can be briefly translated as follows: The Wheel of Law (falun), the inexorable expansion of the Buddha's teaching; the Conch Shell (luo), majesty, the voice of the Buddha; the Umbrella (san), spiritual authority, reverence; the Canopy (gai), royal grace; the Lotus (hua), purity; the Vase (ping), eternal harmony, vessel of the nectar of immortality; the Paired Fish (shuangyu), conjugal happiness, fertility, protection, spiritual liberation; and the Endless Knot (zhang), eternity.

    Compare another 18th century spinach-green jade marriage bowl of slightly smaller size (30 cm. across handles) carved with catfish, lotus and chrysanthemum, sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 27 May 2009, lot 1839.

    Provenance

    Alan & Simone Hartman Collection, 1986.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION


    Exhibited

    Texas Collects Asia, The Trammel & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, 12 July - 28 September 2008, p. 25, fig. 13.