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Rare vase archaïsant en jade jaune et brun, Dynastie Qing, XVIIe siècleEstimation 30,000 — 50,000 EUR. Photo Sotheby’s

de forme hu aplatie, sculpté dans le style des vases en bronze de la dynastie Han, la veine naturelle brune et légèrement calcifiée du jade occupant principalement une face du vase, la panse ovoïde au col cintré reposant sur un pied évasé sculpté en léger relief d’une bande centrale de motifs archaïsants entre deux filets, le col orné de deux petits anneaux de chaque côté et flanqué d’anses en têtes d’animaux fabuleux, la pierre finement polie;16,4 cm; 6 1/2  in.


PROVENANCE: Acquired in China before 1922.
Thence in the family by descent.

Like so many jades made during the Qianlong reign, the present vase imitates an archaic bronze form of the late Eastern Zhou or early Han period. Craftsmen turned to archaic bronze shapes in response to the Qianlong emperor’s fascination with the past and emerged with designs that were often an adaptation and amalgamation of styles to suit the prevailing taste of the Qing court.

The present vase quite faithfully copies a late Eastern Zhou or Western Han period hu, one of many archaic bronzes in the Imperial collection. Several close examples are recorded in the Xiqing gujian (Reflections on the Antiquity in the Xiqing Library), the Qianlong Emperor’s illustrated catalogue of the imperial collection of archaic bronzes which illustrates a Zhou dynasty example with similar small ring handles on the neck in a line drawing (Fig. 1 Xiqing Gujian qinding, juan 19:27). The wide band of feathery C- and S-scrolls carved in low relief around the body and the handles in the form of animal heads are Qing adaptations as are the small ring handles on the neck. The vase is deeply archaistic in character, emphasized by the inclusion of the brownish-russet skin of the stone that covers most of one side of the vase and that has been polished to a beautiful soft glow.

Sotheby’s. Arts d’Asie. Paris | 11 déc. 2014, 10:30 AM