An openwork jade plaque

Jade plaque


Ming dynasty
Length: 3 1/4 in, 8.2 cm

of rounded rectangular form, pierced with a goose, its feathers incised, in a lotus pond. The jade is a greenish-white tone with some brown and oatmeal inclusions.

This composition of the jade plaque 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, this example lacks the small falcon which chases the goose.

For similar plaques dated Yuan or Ming, see Jiang Tao and Liu Yunhui, Jades from the Hei-Chi Collection II (Beijing, 2012), p. 150; Palace Museum, Compendium of Collections from the Palace Museum: Jade (Beijing, 2011), Vol. 6, no. 169, p. 189; Jessica Rawson, Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing (London, 1995), fig. 1, p. 335, in the collection of the British Museum; Shih Shou-chien, The National Palace Museum Guidebook (Taipei, 2005), p. 105; Shih Shou-chien and Ge Wanzhang, Age of the Great Khan: Pluralism in Chinese Art and Culture under the Mongols (Taipei, 2001), no. IV-13, p. 126, in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei; and James Watt, Chinese Jades from the Collection of the Seattle Art Museum (Seattle, 1989), no. 40, p. 65