Pair of Chinese pale celadon jade oval plaques, each carved in high relief with an elephant with its head turned back towards its elaborate saddle cloth, each carved with rocks, waves and clouds above tassels, with detailed hairwork to the elephant’s tails, their backs supporting a large jardinière of precious objects including a branch of coral, a sceptre and cash, surrounded by the baxiang on ribbon-tied branches with four on each plaque, including canapé, shell, fish, endless knot, cornucopia, cash, vase and flower.

3 3/8 inches, 8.6 cm diameter.

Qianlong, 1736-1795.


One with a natural flaw, each with three pairs of holes on the underside for attachment.

Provenance & Additional Information

  • Formerly in the collection of the Coco Aldo, the wife of the former curator of the Buenos Aires Museum of Art.
  • A similar plaque is illustrated by Wang Qinglu in Gu Yu Jing Hua (A Selection of Finest Old Jades), no. 340, p. 210.
  • It is rare to find plaques of this type in pairs. This is a proper pair as the elephants face towards each other; the vases on their backs contain different items, and each has four different precious objects on ribbon-tied bands surrounding the elephants.