A RARE LARGE GREY JADE FIGURE OF A RECUMBENT WATER BUFFALO
A RARE LARGE GREY JADE FIGURE OF A RECUMBENT WATER BUFFALO

LATE MING-EARLY QING DYNASTY, 17TH-18TH CENTURY

Details
A RARE LARGE GREY JADE FIGURE OF A RECUMBENT WATER BUFFALO
LATE MING-EARLY QING DYNASTY, 17TH-18TH CENTURY
The recumbent figure is finely carved with head tilted and turned to the side, the legs tucked under the body, and the tail flicked up onto the right rear leg. The head is sensitively detailed with well-defined mouth, nostrils, eyes and ears below the ribbed horns. The well-polished stone is of variegated grey color with a blackish vein that curves around the body and some veins of white color.
10 ¾ in. (27.3 cm.) long, box
Provenance
Sotheby's London, 7 June 1991, lot 109.
Literature
Nicole De Bisscop, Chinese Jade and Scroll Paintings from the Dongxi Collection, Brussels, 1995, p. 91, no. 52.
Exhibited
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. 52.

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Lot Essay

The buffalo is associated with strength, prosperity and tranquility, attributes that may have contributed to its inclusion in the group of large, finely carved jade animal figures, which also included horses, being produced in the late Ming to early Qing period. Similar jade figures of recumbent water buffaloes of large size are in public and private collections. One of somewhat larger size (37.3 cm.) of greyish-green color is illustrated by J. Rawson in Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, British Museum, 1995, p. 375, no. 26:19. The author, p. 376, notes that these figures are all in the same size range and carved from opaque stones that are of various shades of grey-green. Three other similar figures are illustrated by J. Rawson and J. Ayers in Chinese Jade throughout the ages, Oriental Ceramic Society, London, 1975, nos. 395-97, the first from the Fitzwilliam Museum, the last from the collection of Mr. Somerset de Chair. All of these buffaloes have the head tilted and turned to the side in a manner very similar to that of the present figure, and all share a naturalness of form and fine quality of carving, as do two other similar water buffaloes sold at Christie's New York: one of grey-green color (32.4 cm.), 21 March 2000, lot 126; the other of dark green color (32.4 cm.), 19 March 2008, lot 436. Unlike the aforementioned greyish-green or green figures, the color of the present buffalo is gradations of grey.

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