27 November 2007
AN EXQUISITE WHITE JADE CIRCULAR CENSER AND COVER
QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)
The lower section with gently curving sides resting on four short scroll feet, carved in relief around the sides with four pairs of catfish above wan emblems, their heads separated by ruyi heads protruding over the edge of the lipped rim, the domed cover carved in low relief with abstract swirling clouds below an everted flower-head finial with ruyi petals, the highly polished stone of an even white tone with scattered light russet patches
5¾ in. (14.7 cm.) diam., stand
John Sparks, London
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Robert Kleiner, Chinese Jades from the Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman, Hong Kong, 1996, no. 79
Christie's New York, 13-26 March 2001
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, August 2003-December 2004
No other examples of this particular form appear to have been published. The highly innovative design using a combination of traditional auspicious emblems and stylised motifs are typical of the Qianlong period.
The Chinese word for catfish, nianyu is a pun on the words 'plenty', yu and 'year' nian, in combination signifying the wish for a plentiful year.
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