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Two reclining horses with monkey
Place of Origin: China
Date: 1800s
Historical Period: Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Materials: Nephrite
Dimensions: H. 1 in x W. 2 1/4 in x D. 1 3/8 in, H. 2.5 cm x W. 5.7 cm x D. 3.5 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: Chinese Art
Collection: Jade And Stones
Object Number: B69J31
On Display: No

Description

Label:

Two reclining horses face each other as a monkey plays on one them. For the sake of contrast, the craftworker carved one horse from the darker area of the piece of jade and other from the lighter area. Herring bone- shaped hatchings decorate the monkey's back; the mane and tail of both horses are finely striated. This piece is small enough to be a fondling piece, or it could be used as a toggle. There are openings where a cord can be inserted.

Monkey and horse together make up a rebus for mashang fenghou, or "may you immediately be elevated to the rank of marquis." It can also stand for the phrase "xinyuan yima," a Buddhist term for the "willfulness and wayward nature of human desires" (Watt [year?], [page no.?], plate 70). The yuan in this case refers to a gibbon. A document from the sixth day of the ninth moon, sixth year of the reign of the Yongzheng emperor (1728) used the phrase xinyuan yima in describing a piece of white nephrite. The emperor wanted the monkey removed from the horse, so that the object could be changed into a brush stand (Palace Museum, Beijing, 1995, 42:16). During the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), the imperial jade workshop not only created new works of art, but made changes to the existing artwork as well.


Label:

Two reclining horses face each other as a monkey plays on one them. For the sake of contrast, the craftworker carved one horse from the darker area of the piece of jade and other from the lighter area. Herring bone- shaped hatchings decorate the monkey's back; the mane and tail of both horses are finely striated. This piece is small enough to be a fondling piece, or it could be used as a toggle. There are openings where a cord can be inserted.

Monkey and horse together make up a rebus for mashang fenghou, or "may you immediately be elevated to the rank of marquis." It can also stand for the phrase "xinyuan yima," a Buddhist term for the "willfulness and wayward nature of human desires" (Watt [year?], [page no.?], plate 70). The yuan in this case refers to a gibbon. A document from the sixth day of the ninth moon, sixth year of the reign of the Yongzheng emperor (1728) used the phrase xinyuan yima in describing a piece of white nephrite. The emperor wanted the monkey removed from the horse, so that the object could be changed into a brush stand (Palace Museum, Beijing, 1995, 42:16). During the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), the imperial jade workshop not only created new works of art, but made changes to the existing artwork as well.