An Exquisite Carved Jade
You are bidding on a beautiful carved jade snuff bottle. Meticulously carved from a fine piece of fine quality jade. The jade exhibits a creamy milky appearance. It is often times termed as mutton fat jade. T is a carving of a robed boy carrying a ruyi scepter sitting atop a scaled Qilin creature, in low relief.
A Qilin is a fabulous creature which appears in various forms and is associated with the wish for sons. In English it is sometimes described as a 'Unicorn' but this is misleading as the Qilin sometimes has more than one horn. The Qilin was also used on the 'badges of rank' as a symbol for the highest rank among the military officials. The Qilin was a popular figure in Chinese mythology because it was associated with a wish for sons. Generally the unicorn was defined as a benevolent creature which lives in the Kunlun mountains and represents good fortune, fecundity, and filial piety. The last attribute reveals its asociation with Confucianism as in Confucian legend, the qilin appeared to Confucius' mother just before he was born. In the Chinese mythology it was also one of the nine sea monsters . The qilin had the head of a dragon, the body of a deer but scaly, the tail of a Buddhist lion, and the hooves of a goat. In decorations, the qilin is sometimes mistaken for a deer. On the reverse side t are rows of Chinese calligraphy. The bottle is well-hollowed. It stands 60mm x 55mm x 21mm. The stopper is believed to be carnelian. It was acquired many years ago from a wealthy California estate, and have been in my personal care for over 30 years. Exact date is unknown but is probably made around 1870, possibly earlier. It is in marvelous condition with no cracks or breakage. Additional photos are provided upon request. Carved jade bottles, such as this one is a truly rare find. It is particularly hard to find a fine specimen like this one these days. This particular bottle makes a fine acquisition to any snuff bottle collection. Auction starts at well-below market value. Estimate $5000-$8000.
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