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    Sale 2267

    Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art Including Jades from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

    18 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 440

    A WELL-CARVED PALE BEIGE JADE ARCHAISTIC 'CHAMPION' VASE

    18TH/19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A WELL-CARVED PALE BEIGE JADE ARCHAISTIC 'CHAMPION' VASE
    18TH/19TH CENTURY
    In the form of two tubular pedestal cups well carved around the sides with bands of archaistic designs and made to look as if they partially rest atop the back of a recumbent beast, its head projecting at the bottom from one side as a support for a mythical bird standing with a loose ring suspended from its curved beak, on the reverse the beast's bifurcated tail supports the pair of C-shaped scroll handles conjoined by a band at the middle, the stone of even pale grayish-beige tone with some sparse russet mottling
    5 7/8 in. (14.8 cm.) high


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    This vessel belongs to group of jades made in imitation of ancient forms. The name 'champion' vase is a pun on the word ying (falcon) and xiong (bear), the two creatures, or mythical variations on the two, joining the adjacent vases and together forming the word yingxiong, 'champion'. Alternatively, this type of 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.

    Compare the similarly carved green jade 'champion' vase and cover inscribed with a Qianlong fanggu (after the antique) mark in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 42 - Jadeware (III), Hong Kong, 1996, pp. 184-5, no. 151. See, also, the similar, though larger (26.7 cm.) Qianlong-period 'champion' vase and cover from the collection of Alan & Simone Hartman, sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 28 November 2006, lot 1382.

    Provenance

    Conrad W. Anner Collection.
    The House of Jade, New York, December 1960.