A fine openwork jade plaque

A fine openwork jade plaque


Yuan or Ming dynasty
Length: 3 1/2 in, 8.9 cm

Of rounded rectangular form, pierced with a goose, its feathers finely incised, in a lotus pond. The uneven slab of jade is a greenish-white tone with areas of russet skin remaining and used intelligently within the design.

Formerly in the collection of a European titled family.

The composition celebrates the annual goose hunt, known as chunshui, conducted by the Khitan in the Liao dynasty and the Jurchen people in the Jin dynasty. In common with many of the later Yuan and Ming plaques, our example lacks the small falcon which chases the goose.

For similar plaques dated Yuan or Ming, see Jiang and Liu, Jades from the Hei-Chi Collection II, p. 150; Palace Museum, Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum: Jade, Vol. 6, no. 169, p. 189; Rawson, Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, fig. 1, p. 335, in the collection of the British Museum; Shih, The National Palace Museum Guidebook, p. 105; Shih and Ge, Age of the Great Khan: Pluralism in Chinese Art and Culture under the Mongols, no. IV-13, p. 126, in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei; and Watt, Chinese Jades from the Collection of the Seattle Art Museum, no. 40, p. 65.