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A fine white jade rhyton. Qing dynasty, 18th century. photo courtesy Sotheby"s

of characteristic trumpet form and oval section rising from three short feet, finely carved to the flattened sides with four archaistic zoomorph bearing phoenix heads, with a sinuous chilong climbing up one side peering over the mouthrim, the opposite side carved in high-relief with a chilong head, its flaring openwork wings and scrolls flattening to low-relief from the beast's head to the vessel's side, interwoven with a pair of keyfret bands, the pale stone with white inclusions; width 4 in., 10.2 cm. Estimate 60,000—80,000 USD. Lot Sold 92,500 USD

PROVENANCE: Sotheby's New York, 18th September 2007, lot 190.
Louis Joseph, London, 1963.

NOTE: Rhytons, or vessels in the shape of a horn, were popular from the Song to the Qing dynasties. The carved archaistic scrollwork rendered in low-relief, as seen on this present example, is a feature often found on vessels of this type and evoked the sensibilities of earlier 'antique' styles.

An example of a jade rhyton with meticulously carved archaistic motifs in imitation of a bronze vessel is illustrated in The Refined Taste of the Emperor: Special Exhibition of Archaic and Pictorial Jade of the Ch'ing Court, Taipei, 1986, pl. 34. Another with a simpler scrollwork band, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 1995, pl. 136.

Sotheby's. Fine Ceramics and works of Art. 15 Sept 2010. New York www.sothebys.com