Until Tue, 1st Aug 2023

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Lot 8

Buy now for €12,000.00

Lot details

Jade. China, c. 1100-771 BC

Of slightly tapering shape, carved on both sides with a phoenix perched on top of a coiling dragon, the contours and details rendered with double-line grooves. The translucent stone is of a pale celadon tone with patches of cream-white tone and dark veins. Few tiny nicks, distinct signs of weathering and erosion, with the surface showing a silky matt surface as a result of long-time burial.

The present ornament displays an elegant combination of two zoomorphic elements, depicting a phoenix perched on top of a coiling dragon, the contours rendered in double-line grooves, a style characteristic of the Western Zhou period.

Literature comparison: A similar example depicting the same motif but of slightly different shape, is in the National Palace Museum Collection (acquisition no. gouyu 611), illustrated in Art in Quest of Heaven and Truth, Chinese Jades through the Ages, Taipei, 2012, pl. 5-4-6. Another example depicting similar motifs was excavated in Rujiazhuang, its line drawing illustrated in Teng Shu-p’ing, Collectors’ Exhibition of Archaic Chinese Jades, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1999, p. 35, pl. 30:5. A rectangular plaque depicting similar motifs is in the Palace Museum Collection, illustrated in Zhongguo yuqi quanji 2- Shang & Western Zhou, Shijiazhuang, 1993, pl. 242.

Auction result comparison: Compare a near-identical ornament, also dated to the Western Zhou Dynasty, at Christie’s Hong Kong, in Chinese Archaic Jades from the Yangdetang Collection on 29 November 2017, lot 2743 (sold for HKD 2,375,000).

LENGTH 9.6 cm

Provenance: From the collection of David Taylor, and thence by descent within the Taylor family. David Taylor (1876-1958) was a notable British businessman who lived in Belfast and owned various commercial buildings along with a substantial portfolio of stocks and shares. During his travels to China in the early 20th century, he acquired many jades, including the present lot. His grandfather, Sir David Taylor, was born in 1815 in Perth, Scotland, and moved to Belfast in 1842, serving as its Mayor in 1867 and for two consecutive terms in 1883 and 1884.


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