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Hare
Place of Origin: China
Date: approx. 1800-1900
Historical Period: Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Materials: Nephrite
Dimensions: H. 3/4 in x W. 1 3/8 in x D. 5/8 in, H. 1.9 cm x W. 3.5 cm x D. 1.59 cm
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Department: Chinese Art
Collection: Jade And Stones
Object Number: B75J4
On Display: No

Description

Label:

The worker who carved this hare used the pale green hetian jade completely, carefully retaining the whitish infusions on the lower front. The hare crouches, its back rising steeply and then sloping down to rounded hindquarters. Two extraordinarily long ears extend back, and the tapering head rests on the forelegs.

In a beautiful legend, the lady Chang Er was accompanied by a jade hare in her residence on the moon, after she stole the elixir of immortality from her husband. The hare then became a pharmacist and was put in charge of producing drugs of immortality with leaves of cassia trees. As Daoist beliefs spread, the image of this legend became popular in Song art. Paintings of that period portrayed the hare with a cassia tree. A Song jade paperweight found in a tomb in Zhejiang depicted a hare in three dimensions (Zgyqqj 1993, vol. 5, plate 118). A jade hare dated to the Yuan period, in the collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, was made for a pendant (He Li 1999, 64, plate 19). Compared to those earlier jade hares, this piece exhibits great subtlety—it does not have detailed features, but the hare's characteristic ears seem to be alert as it eats food held between its paws.


Label:

The worker who carved this hare used the pale green hetian jade completely, carefully retaining the whitish infusions on the lower front. The hare crouches, its back rising steeply and then sloping down to rounded hindquarters. Two extraordinarily long ears extend back, and the tapering head rests on the forelegs.

In a beautiful legend, the lady Chang Er was accompanied by a jade hare in her residence on the moon, after she stole the elixir of immortality from her husband. The hare then became a pharmacist and was put in charge of producing drugs of immortality with leaves of cassia trees. As Daoist beliefs spread, the image of this legend became popular in Song art. Paintings of that period portrayed the hare with a cassia tree. A Song jade paperweight found in a tomb in Zhejiang depicted a hare in three dimensions (Zgyqqj 1993, vol. 5, plate 118). A jade hare dated to the Yuan period, in the collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, was made for a pendant (He Li 1999, 64, plate 19). Compared to those earlier jade hares, this piece exhibits great subtlety—it does not have detailed features, but the hare's characteristic ears seem to be alert as it eats food held between its paws.