27 November 2007
A LARGE PALE CELADON JADE SCROLL-WEIGHT
MING DYNASTY, 16TH/17TH CENTURY
Of plain rectangular form, carved in high relief with two confronting chilong, both with long powerful bodies with ridged spines terminating in flattened bifurcated tails, the larger of the beasts with a single horn surmounting its outstretched head, the smaller beast with a short mane covering its neck, all within a tiered border, the stone of a translucent even pale celadon tone
9 in. (23 cm.) long
H.A.E. Jahne, New York
Wadsworth R. Lewis, New York
Parke Bernet Galleries, New York, 2 April 1943, lot 294
John T. Dorrance, Jr., Gladwynne, Pa.
Sotheby's New York, 21 October 1989, lot 554
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Robert Kleiner, Chinese Jades from the Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman, Hong Kong, 1996, no. 49
Christie's New York, 13-26 March 2001 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, August 2003-December 2004
Compare with a scroll weight of similar form from the Gerald Godfrey Collection, sold in these Rooms, 30 November 1995, lot 812.
This particular form of ruler-shaped scroll-weight appeared in different media from the Song dynasty onwards. Two wooden weights of similar form with nephrite knobs now in the Shanghai Museum were excavated from the Wanli period tomb of Zhu Shoucheng in Shanghai and are illustrated by Li and Watt in The Chinese Scholar's Studio: Artistic Life in the Late Ming Period, no. 69. In the catalogue entry Robert Mowry notes, "Characteristics to be observed in these pieces are the meticulous craftsmanship, seen especially in the indented edges along the top, and the preference for old jade knobs. The careful articulation of the top edge was also copied in the Ming jade versions".
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