A LARGE JADE CARVING OF A RECUMBENT WATER BUFFALO
8.000 € - 12.000 €
Description:China, probably Ming/ early Qing dynasty
L. 20,3 cm
The reclining animal is naturalistically modelled, the front and hind legs elegantly pushed beside and under the strong body accentuated by a pronounced spine, the tail curved to the right and the head turned backwards. The stone has a beige-brown tone with darker and caramel inclusions and lighter opacities.
Former Khayon-Indo-Asia-Art-Foundation, Dortmund, acquired prior to 1970, acquired by inheritance in 1999
As a familiar beast of the fields, the buffalo underpinned rice production and the rural economy. As such it is emblematic of agriculture and spring time, and represents strength, endurance, dedication to hard work, prosperity and tranquillity. It is also used in artistic representation, in particular in Chinese paintings, to evoke a bucolic, idealised existence in the countryside. This in turn feeds into a more mythical or spiritual side to the buffalo, recalling both Buddhist and Daoist concerns with simplicity and retreat, and the founder of Daoism, the philosopher Laozi, who departed from the borders of the known world on a buffalo. Another aspect of the buffalo is its guardian function, stemming from the legend of the Emperor Yu of the Xia dynasty casting an iron ox to subdue floods. This connection was most notably represented in the huge bronze ox commissioned by the Qianlong emperor in 1755 and placed gazing out over the Kunming Lake at the Summer Palace. Depicted in jade rather than bronze, with an eternally placid yet watchful expression, the present lot surely also observes and protects its owner - Very slightly chipped