White Jade Double Gourd Brush Washer Coupe

Regular price $145,000

The double gourd shape has been exemplified in Chinese culture for centuries.  Double gourds are symbols of fertility.  All scholars had some sort of coupe, water pot or brush washer on their desk.  This pure milk bright white semi-translucent example is beautifully carved with high relief in the 18th century tradition.  Its outside with many curly vines and leaves.  Sometimes coupes held water to purify ones hands.  Approximately 6 ½” long x 3 ½” wide x 2” high. Qing Dynasty.  Formally in the Belz collection, Memphis, Tennessee.

For A Similar Antique Example:
The Illustrated Record Of The Stanley Nott Collection Of Chinese Jades, By Stanley Charles Nott, 1942.
Page 370 Plate LXXXII - Specimen No. 72.
Described As:
A GOURD-SHAPED MARRIAGE BOWL made to hold the water used to purify the hands of participants previous to their supplicating the Ancestral Influences. Dated As: Yung-cheng, 1723-1735 A.D.
See Ending Illustration For A Picture From This Book

For Another Similar Example:
Sotheby's New York - September 11-12, 2012 - Lot #351:
carved in high relief and openwork in the form of a hollow double-gourd borne on gnarled branches issuing large leaves and curly vines, with two bats in flight, the semi-translucent stone of even tone with creamy-white and brownish gray inclusions, wood stand (2) Length 6 1/8 in., 15.6 cm Which Relaized $40,000.

For Another Similar Example:
Sotheby's Hong Kong - June 1, 2017 - Lot #81:A WHITE JADE 'DOUBLE GOURD AND BAT' WASHER
modelled in the form of hollowed double gourd borne from entwined leafy tendrils extending around the exterior with two bats perched atop, the stone of a translucent white tone mottled with brown speckles
15 cm, 5 7/8 in.
300,000 — 400,000 HKD / $38,604-$51,472 USD

For Another Similar Example:
Metropolitan Museum Of Art - MMA - Gift Of Herbert R. Bishop Collection - 1902 Accession #0218.587 Titled Water Receptacle
See Ending Illustration

For Another Similar Example:
Christie's London - Fine Chinese Ceramics And Works Of Art - May 10, 2011; Lot #28
The deeply hollowed vessel emanating from a gnarled stem finely carved and pierced with further tendrils, leaves and two small gourds, flanked on either side by a bat in mid-flight, the stone of a pale even tone with attractive russet markings
9¼ in. (23.5 cm.) long, wood stand
The Collection of Important Chinese Jades, formed by Count Primor Alsocernantoni, Louis Von Cseh of New York; Christie's, London, 16 July 1963, lot 20.
With Spink & Son Ltd., London.
Lot Essay
This exceptionally fine jade brush washer would have been made for an eminent Chinese gentleman as an accoutrement for his study, where he would engage in the scholarly pursuits of calligraphy, composing poetry, and painting. In view of the choice of auspicious decorative motifs, it was probably a gift on a special occasion such as the New Year or a birthday. Double-gourds provide both the shape of the washer and elements used to decorate it. These plants have long been regarded as auspicious in China and are associated with the immortals and immortality. Gourds have a range of auspicious meanings, particularly a wish for many descendants. It is significant that the vine and tendrils are clearly shown on this jade washer, since these provide a rebus for 'ten thousand generations', while the large and small gourds provide a rebus for 'ceaseless generations of son and grandsons'. The Chinese word for double-gourd or bottle gourd is pronounced the same as words for 'blessings' and an 'official salary', and thus suggests both good fortune and a successful career. This jade washer, also bears the symbolism of bats, which provide a rebus for 'happiness' or'blessings'. Gourds were associated with medicine and healing, and were believed to absorb all the evil vapour of the world. This jade vessel thus provides a wealth of auspicious meaning.
GBP 100,000 – GBP 150,000
Price realised
GBP 1,721,250