Chinese jade pebble-form group of recumbent deer, lu, and fawn, the parent holding a fruiting lingzhi branch in its mouth, their pelts delicately incised with stars, both resting in a large lotus leaf with relief veins, the stone white with natural russet markings.
8.3 cm long.
Early Qing dynasty, 17th/18th century.
- From the collection of Mr O.J.R. Allen.
- Purchased from Marchant, 2nd October 2000.
- Formerly in the collection of Diana Klein, Vermont, USA.
- Included by Marchant in their 75th anniversary exhibition of Post-Archaic Chinese Jades From Private Collections, 2000, no. 85, p. 103.
- Included by Marchant in their exhibition of Chinese Jades from the Mr. O. J. R. Allen Collection, 2013, no. 17, pp. 36/7.
- Another deer and young with a lingzhi branch, of similar date, is illustrated by Yun Xi Zheng in The Collection of Jades in the Tianjin City Art Museum, no. 214; a related group of deer and young is included by Chen Hao in Jade Blossom, Imperial Xiuneisi Jade Objects and Ancient Jade Gems Collected by the Xu’s of Cixi, Zhejiang, The Zhejiang Provincial Museum, pp. 72/3.
- The deer, lu, is associated with longevity and is said to be the only animal able to find the sacred lingzhi fungus of immortality. The lotus is a symbol of fecundity, purity and annual renewal. When stars are depicted on their pelts, it is a reference to the heavens.