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Cambi Auction - Fine Chinese Works of Art January 22
I have been going back and forth on my phone looking at the two images from the Cambi auction.
If I am not mistaken these two buffalo's are not the one and same. Firstly different dimensions stated and kindly observe the difference in the detail of the tail. They are, I submit similar but different. 🤔
So a question remains. The one that was listed as 16th century and sold for €1600. Period or later?🙄
I submit that in all probability the one sold although very nicely carved is in my opinion a later example. Probable 18th-19th century.
My reasoning is that the ears although carved expertly lack the three dimensional appearance seen on earlier examples. The carved mouth does not look realistic to my eye. Neither do the eyes or nostrils. Said lack of rendered detail are often seen on 19th century examples, I submit the following:
The above example taken from 'Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing period' by Jessica Rawson 1995. Page 375 image 26:19. Please note the differences already highlighted in my submission.
Described as a Late Ming or Qing Dynasty 17th century. She further argues/submits that:
'They do not fit in with the main groups of animals already described.
They do not match other types of Ming sculpture, nor is the stone or style of carving typical of the Qing period. For the moment the traditional date of the Ming to Qing transition is adopted'. Taken in part from page 376, said book.
Still the example sold at Cambi is very nice example of a later period in my opinion and realistically priced.
Interesting to note that the jade Buffalo listed at sothebys was previously sold at christies sale #6819 London 11/11/2003 for £139,650. Listed in part as '... Imperial mottled brown 17th century or earlier....'
As far as I can see the jade buffalos in the two sales are one and the same. It's just the slight difference in the angle of the photography that might give you a different impression. Strange that they havn't included the stand though.
It's a possibility that it is actually a later period carving but it could in fact also be earlier.
There is also this jade deer which they have dated to the Song dynasty but that didn't sell against a 4,000 - 6,000 euro estimate. https://www.cambiaste.com/uk/auction-0195-2/a-yellow-jade-and-russet-deer-sculpture-china--2.asp?action=reset Also re-listed and estimated at 1,200 - 1,5000 euro but still unsold https://www.cambiaste.com/fr/vente-0210-2/a-yellow-jade-and-russet-deer-sculpture-china--2.asp
I think the two buffalos are the same one. According to the material I would date it as Ming Jade, because at that time Ming dynasty didn't have access to Hetian jade mine, that means access to good materials. They got them from trade with other nations. Materials with black part (namely material with low quality) are very often used. Qing dynasty has full access to Hetian jade mine, they have better jade. Just my opinion.
I think this one is also from Ming dynasty. Head turns back is a sign of later than Song dynasty, generally. Of course there are also exceptions. According to the material ... read the post above. Similar situation. Its material is too bad.
Thank you Xin for your post. Qing full access to the khotan jade after @ 1756.
Thank you Xin for your post. Qing full access to the khotan jade after @ 1756.
Yes, at Qianlong period.
you sure are much more expert than myself about jades, a field that is almost unknown to me; all what I know is that it is the more dangerous field in Chinese Art.
Nevertheless, I would be very surprised if that buffalo is really Ming. The carving is too much crude, and frankly the opinion of the auction house is completely useless.
The Ming jades that I see in pictures are much smoother. I believe that, if you could handle it instead of seeing just the pictures, you may change your opinion.
There is a very nicely carved celedon white jade with russet features currently listed with I. M. CHAIT GALLERY. Lot # 390 sale date 20th January. Estimate $200-600. Depicted as a dragon. Listed as a 19th century example.
However only one picture is provided and interested bidders should enquire about the back amidst further investigation etc.
Also same auction has a very attractively carved small Lohan. Lot # 386. Offered as an 18th example. Once again further pictures/information required etc.
Yes, you're right. It's a difficult field. In this case for this jade buffalo my opinion based on all pictures I saw on their website. And yes, you have seen a lot of fine carved jade of Ming dynasty on different auctions. They have indeed very good quality. But there are also pieces made from low quality materials and by bad craftsmen. And they are not qualified for auctions or museums mostly. At Ming dynasty all jade carvings are made from jade stones, not big rocks from jade mine. Big stones have a lot of imperfections like russet or black parts. And at Ming dynasty craftsmen used different method to make a jade piece look old or archaistic. That's why many of them look very rough. Qing dynasty on the contrary has the best precondition and the best material. There are a lot to tell... I don't want to convince you. Everyone should have their own opinion and make their own experiences. 😉
thank you very much for the explanations, I will treasure them.
As said, I am not expert at all on jades, and gave my opinion based only on feeling.
Perhaps the exceptions of pieces made during the Song dynasty with the head turned backwards were small pendants, as I have a small pendant of a recumbent Bixie which is thought to have been made during the Song dynasty and it is similar to an example sold by Sotheby's of a recumbent ram pendant
Yes, there are also exceptions like this one on Sotheby's. Do you notice that, they dated as Song/Ming dynasty jade. Ming dynasty was a Han-Chinese rulling dynasty just like Song dynasty. After collapse of Mongol led Yuan dynasty Han-Chinese wanted to get back to Song dynasty and recover their Han-culture again. So at Ming dynasty craftsmen mimicked the style of Song dynasty a lot. Well, in order to date a piece it's also important to know its material, tool marks on surface and so on. Sometimes very complex, sometimes very easy.
If you want, you can share yours with us.
The auction is taking place right now. Lot o657 is on right now as I'm writing this. The "Qianlong" doucai vase sold for €50,000 according to liveauctioneers. Kind of sad for the buyer if it's just a modern fake. https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/80098828_a-rare-large-and-magnificent-doucai-vase-tianqiuping The Beijing glass vase sold for €40,000. Truely an impressive result if you take the €1,000 high estimate into consideration. https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/80098727_a-beijing-glass-vase-china-qing-dynasty The enamelled box sold for €26,000 https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/80098996_an-enamel-box-china-qianlong-period There are many other interesting lots in the sale I would like to comment on but unfortunately I seem to lack both the time and patience.
Xin as usual is correct on his post. I would only add that it is more complex than easy especially when dealing with pre-qing period jades. As indicated in another post I responded to today.
With the amount of archaic jades and other being on the market at this time, most being fake or treated, collector's are buying from known old collection etc. Hence the price!
The sale at Cambi was a pretty good sale for them from what I can see. The jades did OK. I note that the jade and ivory brush holder I made reference to earlier has been removed from the sale. It was fake.
The general consensus was that the large qianlong vase is a later attribute.
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