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AN UNUSUAL GREYISH-GREEN AND RUSSET JADE FIGURE OF A MONKEY
AN UNUSUAL GREYISH-GREEN AND RUSSET JADE FIGURE OF A MONKEY

17TH/18TH CENTURY

Details
AN UNUSUAL GREYISH-GREEN AND RUSSET JADE FIGURE OF A MONKEY
17TH/18TH CENTURY
The monkey is finely carved seated beside and leaning on one of two large peaches borne on a leafy, gnarled branch that forms the base. Its right forepaw is raised to the side of its head, which is turned to the side. The facial features and hair markings on the spine and tail are well executed. The grey-green stone is highlighted by areas of russet color.
4 in. (10.2 cm.) high and wide
Provenance
Mrs. M. Smith Collection, Nottingham, England, acquired c. 1950.

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Lot Essay

The monkey is one of the twelve Zodiac animals and is associated with a mischievous character. The image of a monkey holding a peach can be traced to an episode in Journey to the West, where the Monkey King steals a peach of immortality from Xiwangmu's orchard, causing turmoil in the celestial court.

Both the monkey, hou, and peaches, shoutao, are symbols of longevity, and the combination of the two form the rebus, linghou xianshou, "sacred monkey offering longevity", which expresses the wish that the owner or his descendants should have long life.

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