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    The carved jade gift to Prince Gong at Bonhams. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR £481,250.

    A magnificent pale green jade mountain, dating from the 18th century will be the highlight of Bonhams next Chinese sale on May 17 in London. It was a gift from Li Hong Zhang to Prince Gong, two of the most important statesmen of  the late Qing Dynasty. The piece is estimated at £400,000-600,000.

    The jade boulder is carved as a mountain peak in high relief with four sages and an attendant on a narrow ledge above a stream in a mountainous landscape with pine and wutong trees. The reverse is carved with rocky cliffs and trees. The nine character inscription reads: Jin Feng Gong Qing Wang Chen Li Hong Zhang (‘Humbly Presented [to] Prince Gong [by] Minister Li Hong Zhang). It comes with its original carved wooden stand and is 141/2 inches wide and seven inches high.

    Li Hong Zhang, GCVO (1823-1901), Premier of the Viceroyalty of Zhili, gifted it to Prince Gong,Yixin (1833-1898).   Prince Gong was the sixth son of the Daoguang Emperor (reigned 1821-1850) and half brother of the Xianfeng Emperor (reigned 1850-1861). He served as Prince Regent during the Tongzhi Emperor’s reign (1861-1875).  The carving passed by descent to his grandson Prince Gong.  Japanese dealers Yamanka and Co. offered it through the American Art Galleries in New York in 1913.  It was sold to a private English collector in London in 1963.

    UPDATE: IT MADE £481,250.

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