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Sotheby’s London: A set of eighteen white jade ‘dragon’ belt plaques, Ming dynasty.

Width of largest: 5.6cm, 2 1/4 in.

Provenance: English Private Collection, acquired in the Far East in the 1940s.

Sold on behalf of a private English client at Sotheby’s London, 2 November 2022, for £37,800 (Estimate £6,000-8,000).


Catalogue note

During the Ming dynasty, only officials of the first rank were entitled to wear belts set with beautifully carved jade plaques of varying sizes and forms, while those of the second and third ranks were allowed to wear belt sets comprising plaques made of rhinoceros horn and gold. For two jade belt sets comprising 20 individual plaques from the Palace Museum collection, see The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Jadeware (II), Hong Kong, 1995, pls 165 and 166.


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