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A pale green and russet-flecked jade belthook, 17th/early 18th century

Worked in the form of a recumbent horse, its head turned to the left and looking back towards its hind quarters, the stone of a pale green colour, with a diagonal band of deep russet flecks to the centre of the body and another smaller to the front legs.    

Length: 9.5cm

Provenance: Joseph and Annie Morpurgo, Amsterdam, 2013. 

The carving of this belthook is particularly fine and depicts in two dimension, the three dimensional Ming style of carving of recumbent horses, where the animal has its front and back legs tucked under its body and its head is turned towards its hind quarters. The carver has thus successfully adapted the subject into a functional clothing accessory. The clever use of the diagonal bands of russet inclusions across the head and body helps to give the impression of greater three dimensionality to the piece.  For a Ming dynasty jade horse in three dimension in this pose from the collection of Oscar Raphael, please see Dr Lin, James C.S., The Immortal Stone, Chinese Jades from the Neolithic Period to the Twentieth Century, Cambridge, 2009,p. 52, pl. 39. 

Sold on behalf of an English private collector to an Hong Kong private collector in September 2021 for £10,200.


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