$1m Qianlong vase leads important collection of fine jade carvings at Christie's
As we've reported, this week is a special one at Christie's for lovers of Asian art and antiques with Japanese, Korean and Chinese art going under the hammer and Indian art being offered today in New York (September 13).

Of course lovers of Chinese art in particular have a high opinion of work done in Jade.

With that in mind, Christie's has decided to make a separate auction of Superb Jade Carvings from an Important European Collection, a sale of 36 lustrous jades from the collection of a European connoisseur.

This exceptional group was formed over the past fifty years and focuses on outstanding examples exhibiting stone of high quality, fine carving, and the decorative themes appreciated by the Chinese scholarly elite.

Leading the sale is a very rare white jade archaistic vase and cover, Qianlong/Jiaqing period (1736-1820) (estimate: $750,000-1,000,000).

This outstanding vase is carved from fine stone of even white tone and exhibits an unusual shape, as well as a bold combination of low and high relief carving.

Large White Jade Archaistic Qianlong Vase
Large White Jade Archaistic Qianlong Vase

Another highlight is a large pale greenish-white jade circular 'double happiness' box and cover, Qianlong/Jiaqing period (1736-1820) (estimate: $100,000-150,000), replete with auspicious images including four butterflies, suggesting it was possibly intended as a wedding gift.

Then there's a large greyish-green jade figure of a buffalo, 17th /18th century, (estimate: $80,000-100,000). Highly prized in traditional culture, the buffalo is associated with strength, prosperity and tranquility.

The animal works are not always limited by representations of reality, as a very rare and finely carved white and russet jade animal-form water pot is available too in the shape of the mythological animal bixie, meaning 'avoid evil'.

It is finely carved in an archaistic style with a snarling expression. The details are enhanced with finely incised hair markings, floppy curved ears on a stone of soft, lustrous white tone with satiny polish and some added pale russet highlights.

Little bixie is listed at $120,000-180,000 in Christie's sale which takes place on September 15.


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