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Elephant
Place of Origin: China
Date: approx. 1800-1900
Historical Period: Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Materials: Nephrite
Dimensions: H. 3/4 in x W. 2 1/4 in x D. 1 3/4 in, H. 1.9 cm x W. 5.7 cm x D. 4.4 cm
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. Alexis Pencovic
Department: Chinese Art
Collection: Jade And Stones
Object Number: B86J1
On Display: No

Description

Label:

A recumbent elephant has been worked from a grayish-green jade with amber flaws and brown infusions. The beast is executed in compact relief, with a bulging backbone. Round relief and single incisions define its ears, tusk, trunk, and legs. Short parallel cuts are used on the trunk, which curls up to the right. Depressions below deeply incised toenails suggest the undersides of the four feet.

The most phenomenal periods of cultural growth occurred during two important eras of the Song and the Ming, in which objects for the scholar's' studio rose in prestige. One of those objects, ' a paperweight made of any heavy material, served both practical and aesthetic functions. The elephant, an amiable image with the necessary weight to hold paper in place when a scholar was painting or doing calligraphy , was appreciated as a motif for the scholar's table. This compact jade was fasioned to be just such a paperweight.''


Label:

A recumbent elephant has been worked from a grayish-green jade with amber flaws and brown infusions. The beast is executed in compact relief, with a bulging backbone. Round relief and single incisions define its ears, tusk, trunk, and legs. Short parallel cuts are used on the trunk, which curls up to the right. Depressions below deeply incised toenails suggest the undersides of the four feet.

The most phenomenal periods of cultural growth occurred during two important eras of the Song and the Ming, in which objects for the scholar's' studio rose in prestige. One of those objects, ' a paperweight made of any heavy material, served both practical and aesthetic functions. The elephant, an amiable image with the necessary weight to hold paper in place when a scholar was painting or doing calligraphy , was appreciated as a motif for the scholar's table. This compact jade was fasioned to be just such a paperweight.''