10. M5015



Chinese small jade carving of a crouching tiger, hu, with incised lines to the body, whiskers and long tail folded back on its body, with detailed claws and ears.

The stone white and brown with mottled markings.

2 inches, 5.1 cm long.

Ming dynasty, 16th/17th century or earlier.


Natural markings and flaws.

Provenance & Additional Information

  • Sold by Louis Joseph, 28 Knightsbridge, London, 1960-1985, by repute.
  • A similar crouching tiger described as a lion cub, dated to the Song dynasty, from the collection of his late Majesty King Gustaf VI Adolf, is now in the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, and was included by Basil Gray, Jessica Rawson and John Ayers in Chinese Jades Throughout the Ages, an exhibition organised by the Arts Council of Great Britain and the Oriental Ceramic Society, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1975, Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, 40, 1973-75, no. 255, p. 83; another small tiger with similar ears, also with its tail folded back over its body and incised stripes, was included by Brian Morgan in Naturalism & Archaism: Chinese Jades from the Kirknorton Collection, no. 36; another from the collection of Colonel Mary M. Munro was included by Marchant in their 75th anniversary exhibition of Post-Archaic Chinese Jades from Private Collections, 2000, no. 83, p. 102; another dated to the Song dynasty, from the collection of Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Yen, was sold by Christie’s London in their auction of Fine and Early Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 7th/10th December 1984, A Collection of Early and Post-Archaic Small Jades, lot 303, pp. 62/3.
  • The tiger, hu, is one of the oldest protectors of China. It has the power to exorcise evil and its image is considered to protect the household all year round. The tiger is one of the twelve zodiac animals.