Qing Dynasty, Circa Eighteenth Century
Length: 9-1/2 inches (24.13 cm) Height: 8 inches (20.32 cm)
Icy White and Spinach Green Jadeite with Russet Inclusions
Jade mountains were created as objects of contemplation for the scholar’s studio. Mountains reflect man’s love and awe of nature. Mountain imagery is a central theme in Taoist art; the Immortals themselves lived in the mountains. Furthermore, Chinese folklore is endowed with tales of haunted stones and rocks associated with dragons, devils and gods. Mountains such as the present remarkable example were made as early as the Song dynasty and with the influence of landscape painting gained great popularity among the literary class throughout the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
This jadeite boulder depicts a single pavilion nestled among craggy cliffs and pine trees. On the reverse an expansive pavilion climbs the length of the mountain, shaded by detailed pines. The material is of an icy white color with spinach green and russet inclusions throughout. In our opinion, the subject matter, material and fine workmanship are indicative of an eighteenth century date for this work of art.
Reference Number: 3628
With wooden stand.
From the Gump Family Collection of San Francisco.
From the Collection of Sir Victor Sassoon, B.T., GBE.
Kiyohiko Munakata notes, “During the formative period of religious Daoism those who aspired to immortality went to mountains and pursued their spiritual and physical training with the aid of the mystical power of the mountains. Making elixir was a major aim in this pursuit.” See Sacred Mountains in Chinese Art, by Kiyohiko Munakata University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 1991, Page 112
A related example of the Qianlong period and a discussion of the use of natural boulders during the Qianlong period is published in Immortal Images: The Jade Collection of Margaret and Trammell Crow. Alex Kerr. Dallas: Crow Family Interests, 1989. Pages 16-18.
For further information on miniature jade mountains, see “Mountain Retreats in Jade.” Barry Till and Paula Swart. Arts of Asia. July-August, 1986. Pages 42-53.
A mountain depicting a landscape with a pavilion is published in Fine Ceramics, Jades and Works of Art. Christie’s London, Tuesday, July 5, 1983. Number 513. Another mountain of large size with three sages observing a waterfall appears as Number 777.
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