Description

A fine Hindustan-style celadon nephrite jade bottle
1760-1830
2 1/8 inches
Provenance: A Private Long Island Collection 
 

Of rounded spade shape, carved in low relief with a stylized floral design, possibly hibiscus or chrysanthemum, on each main face and leafy palmettes on the narrow sides, dark veining and some white inclusions on one side, stopper.

 

The ‘Hindustan’ style, as the Chinese know it, or ‘Mughal’ style as it is more familiarly known in the West, is here encapsulated in the delicate low-relief carving of formalized floral scrolling that fills the space so magnificently on the bottles surface.

Hindustan literally means ‘land of the Indus (river)’, and can be placed geographically in the Ganges Plain of North India. The term Hindustan jade used at the Court of Qianlong referred to a style of jade that was in general, though not always as in this  case, very thinly cut and often covered in a profusion of extremely fine relief-carved floral designs, some with gem insets, mostly in the form of bowls and other vessels, that were imported or given as gifts from India and Turkey. The term Mughal jade is interchangeable with it, Hindustan having mostly fallen under the control of the Muslim rulers known as the ‘Mughal Empire’ in the late sixteenth century until well into the nineteenth century. The term was also used to describe jades carved in the Hindustan style by workshops set up by the Qianlong emperor to emulate them, some time after 1759 when nephrite from Xinjiang province in Chinese Turkestan became plentiful. 

 

For further discussion see Moss, Graham, Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles: The Mary and George Bloch Collection, Vol 2, part 2, Quartz, pp. 416-418 no. 334