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A RARE AND FINELY CARVED WHITE AND RUSSET JADE BIRD GROUP
A RARE AND FINELY CARVED WHITE AND RUSSET JADE BIRD GROUP

SONG-MING DYNASTY, 10TH-17TH CENTURY

Details
A RARE AND FINELY CARVED WHITE AND RUSSET JADE BIRD GROUP
SONG-MING DYNASTY, 10TH-17TH CENTURY
The group is finely carved as a bird shown on a gnarled, flowering prunus branch, its head turned and one wing raised to support the fledgling standing with wings spread in the center of its back. The artist masterfully utilized the russet markings in the stone to enhance the composition of the carving. The semi-translucent stone is of an even white tone with areas of russet color. Together withTransactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, London, 1973-75, vol. 40, and Wu Hung, Brian Morgan, Chinese Jades from the Mu-Fei Collection, Bluett & Sons, 1990.
2 5/8 in. (6.6 cm.) long, box
Provenance
Dr. and Mrs. Cheng Te-K'un.
Mu-Fei Collection.
Bluett & Sons, 7 December 1990, no. 43.
Literature
Jessica Rawson and John Ayers, "Chinese Jade throughout the ages", Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, London, 1973-75, vol. 40, p. 79, no. 237.
Wu Hung, Brian Morgan, Chinese Jades from the Mu-Fei Collection, Bluett & Sons, 1990, no. 43.
Nicole De Bisscop, Chinese Jade and Scroll Paintings from the Dongxi Collection, Brussels, 1995, p. 99, no. 54.
Exhibited
Chinese Jade throughout the ages, Oriental Ceramic Society, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1 May - 22 June, 1975, no. 237.
Chinese Jade and Scroll Paintings from the Dongxi Collection, Kredietbank Gallery, Brussels, 25 October - 17 December 1995; Kredietbank Luxembourg, 1 February - 13 April 1996, no. 54.

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Michael Bass

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Lot Essay

There is an unusual intimacy conveyed by this carving of an adult bird and its young. The recumbent adult is shown with head turned as it raises one wing to help support the fledgling that has just hopped onto its back and has its wings spread as it tries to balance. The curved posture of the fledgling not only shows its vulnerability, but also helps to create a graceful oval shape as it bridges the curve of the backward-turned head and the upward curve of the raised wing of the adult. A similar dynamic relationship can be seen in a small jade carving of an eagle attacking a dog, where the recumbent dog has turned its head to look at the eagle which stands on its back with spread wings, the outlines of the carving forming a triangle. This carving, also in the collection of Dr. and Mrs. Cheng Te-K'un, is illustrated by J. Rawson and J. Ayers in Chinese Jade throughout the ages, Oriental Ceramic Society, London, 1975, no. 238, and again by Wu Hung and Brian Morgan in Chinese Jades from the Mu-Fei Collection, Bluett & Sons, London, 1990, no. 42.

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