Lot 45. AN EXQUISITE PLAQUE IN WHITE TRANSLUCENT JADE FINELY CARVED IN THE SHAPE OF A CROUCHING TIGER

Starting price:€ 4 500
Auction date:29.09.2017   16:00 UTC +02:00
Archive
ID 7383
Lot 45AN EXQUISITE PLAQUE IN WHITE TRANSLUCENT JADE FINELY CARVED IN THE SHAPE OF A CROUCHING TIGER
Jade. China, Early Western Han, 3RD - 2ND CENTURY BC
虎形玉佩 -西漢早期, 公元前3世紀-前2世紀

Length: 10.6 cm
長 10.6 厘米

This magnificent, rather thick plaque is shaped as a crouching tiger in profile with an open mouth, curly tail and squared off features that truly manifest the strength and power of the animal.

The body is decorated with raised curls, while a pattern of bold, randomly oriented joined scrolls is carved on the bulky, back haunches. The front limbs, carved in low relief, are thinner and embellished with only a double line and a few incised, elegant scrolls within that describe the contour. A carved groove highlights the longer extension of the trifurcated tail, also marked with horizontal double –incised lines. The features of the head express the fierceness and strength of the tiger: the mouth is open, with a bold jaw and tuft of hair on the chin, and whiskers rendered with thin incised lines; the large, slightly bulging eyes have thick eyelids and the pupil is indicated by an incised circle; the ears have truncated tips and are delineated with thick curls. The overall contour of the animal is highlighted by a plain band.

The plaque is carved from a beautiful, thick slab of highly polished white jade. There are some very small patches of brown and black, and an amber strip with some calcification that runs along the bottom and extends upwards along the tail, and also in the other direction, along the face. Noticeable calcification can also be seen in larger sections on the tail and face, while additional small calcified areas can be found on the top edge.

Literature comparison/Archaeological sites: There are several tiger-shaped plaques from excavations, as well as in private and public collections, that can be quoted for comparison. However, one of the closest examples is represented by a famous pair of tigers carved from a similar material in the Harvard Art Museums’ collections, published in M. Loehr and L.G. Fitzgerald Huber, Ancient Chinese jades from the Grenville L. Winthrop collection in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA) 1975, no.438 (accession number 1943.50.469 a, b), among many other books. For additional examples of tiger-shaped plaques see F. Salviati, 4000 Years of Chinese Archaic Jades, Edition Zacke, Vienna 2017, nos.300-302.

Expertise: Prof. Dr. Filippo Salviati

From an Austrian collection
奧地利老佔有

All jades in this catalogue have been professionally examined, authenticated and described by Prof. Fillipo Salviati. Professor Salviati teaches Chinese and Korean art at Sapienza University in Rome, in the Italian Institute of Oriental Studies. He is a world expert on archaic Chinese jades, having released multiple publications and being cited by renowned auction houses such as Sotheby’s.

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Galerie Zacke
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Austria
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Preview26.09.2017 - 28.09.2017
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