Chinese jade pebble carving of a recumbent single-horned mythical animal, pixiu, with bifid tail, detailed spine and claws all resting on ruyi-head clouds.
The stone white with natural russet markings.
3 3/8 inches, 8.6 cm long.
Late Ming/early Qing dynasty, 17th century.
Natural markings and natural flaws, one chip out of the cloud on the underside, probably original.
Provenance & Additional Information
- Sold by Sotheby’s London in their auction of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 13th December 1988, lot 30, pp. 20/1, where it is described as Kangxi.
- A similar single-horned pixiu above clouds was included by Roger Bluett in Bluett & Sons Ltd. exhibition of Dr Newton’s Zoo, A Study of post-Archaic Small Jade Carvings, 1981, no. 27, p. 22, colour plate III, and is again illustrated by Robert P. Youngman in The Youngman Collection, Chinese Jades From Neolithic to Qing, no. 154, p. 155.
- A related single-horned animal on clouds from the Guan-fu Collection is illustrated by James C. Y. Watt in Chinese Jades from Han to Ch’ing, 1980, no. 51, p. 69; another single-horned pixiu dated to the Ming dynasty was included by Gerard Tsang and Ho Kam-chuen in the exhibition of Chinese Jade Animals, 1996, presented by the Urban Council of Hong Kong, organised by the Hong Kong Museum of Art, no. 141, pp. 158/9.
- The pixiu is a symbol of wealth and resting on ruyi-shaped clouds suggests the meaning of bringing as much wealth as you wish.