Chinese jade pouring vessel, yi, carved on the exterior with a wide archaic style scrolling band of confronting animal heads between a double raised edge and beneath a similar band at the rim and above a key-fret band on the ridged foot, the openwork scroll top handle carved with a chilong dragon going through, its body with scrolls and detailed hairwork to the mane.

The stone opaque white with natural russet markings.

6 ½ inches, 16.5 cm long; 2 ¾ inches, 7 cm deep.

Late Ming/early Qing dynasty, 17th century.

Carved wood stand.


Natural flaws.

Provenance & Additional Information

  • Sold by Louis Joseph, 28 Knightsbridge, London, 1960-1985, by repute.
  • Included by Marchant in their 95th Anniversary Exhibition of The Lobl Collection of Chinese Jades, 2020, no. 19, pp. 46/7.
  • A vessel of this form with the dragon similarly going through the handle is illustrated by Geoffrey Wills in Jade of The East, no. 105, p. 121; another vessel of this form without the dragon going through the handle, from the collection of Humphrey K. F. Hui, was included by Humphrey K. F. Hui and Tina Yee-wan Pang in the exhibition of Virtuous Treasures, Chinese Jades for the Scholar’s Table, 2008, no. 13, p. 62.
  • The shape of a yi is probably for pouring water or wine and first appears in bronze in the early Zhou dynasty.
  • The dragon, long, and the vessel, yi, form the word longyi which means the emperor’s dragon throne.