The horse is carved recumbent with its head turned backwards to face the monkey which is seated upon its back. The monkey is playfully carved with one hand holding the horse's reins and the other scratching its ear. The piece is of an even pale tone with minor white inclusions.
3 5/8 in. (9.3 cm.) wide
Acquired by the Hon. Mrs. Clive Behrens’ son, Jack Behrens, in Asia prior to 1934.

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Pedram Rasti
Pedram Rasti

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Lot Essay

The depiction of a monkey upon a horse's back represents the rebus 'Ma shang feng hou' which may be translated as 'May you receive a swift promotion to a high rank of office'. This popular motif was would have been used to confer good wishes to those hoping to advance quickly into officialdom.

A similar jade group dating to the Qianlong period is found in the Palace Collection in Beijing and is illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Jadeware (III), Hong Kong, 1995, p. 111, plate 91.

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