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Exquisitely carved in the form of a ripe peach, the underside with naturalistically rendered branches bearing clusters of slender leaves in high relief extending up the sides, the interior carved with two bats in flight with wings touching, below three further bats evenly spaced around the rim, the semi-translucent stone of an even white tone
6 in. (15.2 cm.) diam., wood stand
Collection of S. Bulgari, Rome.
The di Portanova Collection, sold in our New York Rooms, 20 October 2000, lot 102.

Lot Essay

The sculptural composition of the present peach-shaped water-coupe compares closely to that of the deeper peach-shaped bowl of similar size, illustrated by R. Kleiner, Chinese Jades from the Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman, Hong Kong, 1996, pl. 92, where it is noted that the sculptural quality of the bowl increases the link between nature and that of a utilitarian object. Not only was this link constantly sought after by the literati, but its successful embodiment was one of the ideals of the Qing jade carver.

Cf. also other comparable white jade bowls and water vessels carved in the form of peaches with bats, illustrated ibid., pls. 93, 102 and 107. The imagery of the design is highly auspicious, as the peach is traditionally symbolic of immortality, while the additional five bats represent the Five Blessings - long life, wealth, peace, love of virtue and a good end to one's life.

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