White jade ruyi sceptre valued at $233,500 in Sotheby's auction

paulfrasercollectibles

2015-06-26 13:15:44

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White jade ruyi sceptre valued at $233,500 in Sotheby's auction

A white jade ruyi, or sceptre, gifted to the maharaja of Nepal, will attract global interest

Sotheby's will sell a white jade ruyi, or sceptre, as part of its London auction of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, which will be held on May 15.

White jade ruyi sceptreThe sceptre was intended to bestow a long and happy life on the Nepali maharaja

The item holds historical importance, having been given by Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975) - former head of the Chinese Nationalist Government - to Maharaja Sir Padma Shumshere Jung Bahadur Rana of Nepal in 1945. As such, it is expected to sell for 100,000-150,000 ($155,542-233,313).

Ruyi are ceremonial objects that were traditionally given by the Chinese emperor to his officers and subjects as rewards, sometimes being gifted to kings and heads of state, such as George III and the maharaja.

The present example is decorated with five bats and the shou character on the head, bestowing the maharaja with a long and happy life. It is extremely rare to find ruyi of this size, as boulders large enough to carve to this length (42.5cm) are incredibly scarce. The quality of the jade used is exceptionally fine, sporting an even white colour with minor russet shading.

The sceptre has been consigned from the property of Princess Rama Malla of Nepal.

Jiaqing famille-rose vasesA tremendous wedding gift for those with a large enoughbudget

Also starring is a pair of lime green ground famille-rose vases bearing Jiaqing (1760-1820) seal marks, which have been consigned from Cluny Castle in Scotland.

Estimated at 200,000-300,000 ($311,084-466,626), they are decorated with butterflies and bats with knots, suggesting they were produced as marriage gifts.

You can find all the latest news on collecting Chinese art and antiques in our free weekly newsletter, as well as features and information to keep you ahead of the latest collecting trends.

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