Chinese jade oval waterpot carved in high relief with four dragons grasping the sides in pursuit of a flaming pearl amongst stylised lingzhi clouds and above detailed swirling and crested waves, with further hairwork to the dragons’ manes, the interior well-hollowed.

The stone pale celadon with natural markings.

3 15/16 inches, 10 cm long; 3 inches, 7.6 cm wide.

Kangxi/Qianlong, 1700-1750.

Openwork wood stand carved with dragons and waves.


Natural flaw used in the carving, one dragon horn tip chip.

Provenance & Additional Information

  • Sold by Louis Joseph, 28 Knightsbridge, London, 1960-1985, by repute.
  • Dragon, long, is a symbol of the emperor and represents high rank and power. Often depicted as older dragons and younger chi-dragons, chilong, they represent a wish for an official position to pass from one generation to the next. The dragon in pursuit of flaming pearls amongst ruyi-clouds is symbolic of the emperor’s wish for longevity and prosperity.