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Crouching elephant
Place of Origin: China
Date: approx. 1800-1900
Historical Period: Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Materials: Nephrite
Dimensions: H. 1 in x W. 1 3/4 in x L. 2 3/4 in, H. 2.5 cm x W. 4.4 cm x L. 7 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: Chinese Art
Collection: Jade And Stones
Object Number: B67J1
On Display: No

Description

Label:

The carver of this piece took advantage of a flat piece of yellow-green jade with brown flaws, colored with brown on large areas of the surface, to create a sleepy elephant lying down, all four feet folded under its round body. The elephant's trunk stretches up to touch the right side of its hindquarters, forming a hollowed out circle. The artisan did not use an exaggerated style or high relief; a few simple cuts evoke the clumsy limbs under the thick skin.

Elephants were cast as wine vessels on Shang and Zhou bronzes used for ritual purposes. They were portrayed periodically in sculpture, textiles, and paintings. Elephants were introduced to porcelain during the Ming period and to jade comparatively late. Extant jade elephants in the Qing imperial collection are all attributed to the Qing period (Zgyqqj 1993, vol. 4, plate 270; Palace Museum, Beijing 1995, vol. 42, plate 97).


Label:

The carver of this piece took advantage of a flat piece of yellow-green jade with brown flaws, colored with brown on large areas of the surface, to create a sleepy elephant lying down, all four feet folded under its round body. The elephant's trunk stretches up to touch the right side of its hindquarters, forming a hollowed out circle. The artisan did not use an exaggerated style or high relief; a few simple cuts evoke the clumsy limbs under the thick skin.

Elephants were cast as wine vessels on Shang and Zhou bronzes used for ritual purposes. They were portrayed periodically in sculpture, textiles, and paintings. Elephants were introduced to porcelain during the Ming period and to jade comparatively late. Extant jade elephants in the Qing imperial collection are all attributed to the Qing period (Zgyqqj 1993, vol. 4, plate 270; Palace Museum, Beijing 1995, vol. 42, plate 97).