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.
Provenance & Additional Information
- Sold by Louis Joseph, 28 Knightsbridge, London, 1960-1985, by repute.
- 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.