More than 30 pieces of a Hong Kong tycoon's private jade collection will be auctioned on 13 October.
Sotheby's Hong Kong sale, Important Chinese Art including Imperial Jades from the De An Tang Collection, is led by an inscribed white jade ruyi sceptre from the Qianlong period (1735-1796). It is the sale's most expensive lot, estimated at HK$60 to 100 million (around US$7.7 to 12.8 million) dollars.
Charles Ho Tsu-kwok is a tycoon from Hong Kong best known for his leadership roles in the media and tobacco industries, as well as a member of the political advisory body, Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Standing Committee.
He is also the owner of the De An Tang Collection, ancient jade objects collected for more than 20 years. More than 130 objects of this private jade collection were exhibited at Beijing's Forbidden City in 2004.
Hong Kong tycoon, Charles Ho Tsu-kwok
Charles Ho Tsu-kwok is the former chairman of Hong Kong media company, Sing Tao News Corporation. Charles Ho Tsu-kwok sold most of the Sing Tao News Corporation’s shares to Kwok Ying-shing's family of Kaisa Group (investment company who invests in residential property amongst other industries) earlier this February. Ho received around HK$370 million (around US$47.5 million) dollars and formally bid farewell to his newspaper enterprise.
This newspaper tycoon also inherited the tobacco empire of his grandfather, Ho Ying-chie.
Ho's grandfather founded the Hong Kong Tobacco Company in the 1950s. He was once the general agent of Marlboro cigarettes and a manufacturer of Liangyou Chinese cigarettes. During his peak years, he dominated the business of Hong Kong's tobacco industry.
Ho Ying-chie handed his tobacco company to his eldest grandson, Charles Ho Tsu-kwok in 1997. It is reported that the assets of this tobacco kingdom amounted to HK$20 billion (around US$2.5 billion) dollars at the time.
A Romance with Jade – From the De An Tang Collection exhibition | Yongshou Palace, Palace Museum, Beijing, 2004
De An Tang Collection
Ho's De An Tang Collection is the first private jade collection ever to have been exhibited in the Forbidden City, at the Yongshou Palace in 2004. The exhibition was called A Romance with Jade – From the De An Tang Collection.
This sale's Qianlong Imperial jade ruyi appeared in Hong Kong Sotheby's auction twice before.
The first time was in 1991, when Ho Tsu-kwok bought it; and then in 2006, estimated at approximately HK$20 million (around US$2.5 million) dollars at the time. It was not sold in the end.
This time, this jade ruyi sceptre will be auctioned at Sotheby's Hong Kong for the third time. It will be featured at the Important Chinese Art including Imperial Jades from the De An Tang Collection sale on 13 October, with an estimated price of HK$60 to 100 million (around US$7.7 to 12.8 million) dollars.
Qing Imperial Inscribed White Jade Ruyi Sceptre
Mark and period of Qianlong Emperor (reign 1735-1796), dated to the Chinese renchen year, corresponding to 1772
Length: 39.7 cm
- Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 1 November 1999, Lot 561
- Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 10 April 2006, Lot 1510 (unsold)
- A Romance with Jade: From the De An Tang Collection, Yongshou Palace, Palace Museum, Beijing, 2004, Cat. No. 19
Estimated Price: HK$60,000,000 – 100,000,000 (around US$7.7-12.8 million)
Nicholas Chow | Sotheby's Director of Asia
Sceptres (ornamented staffs) were wielded universally by rulers and were used as symbols of their authority.
The present white jade ruyi sceptre was made around 250 years ago. It was dedicated to and admired by the Qianlong Emperor (reign 1735-1796), one of the most powerful men living on earth during the 18th century.
Top section of the jade sceptre
Poem inscribed on the jade sceptre's top flip side is an uncommonly found feature
Although the Qianlong Emperor may have owned thousands of ruyi sceptres, seldom did he express his admiration of the craftsmanship as clearly as in the last two verses of the inscription poem.
Consisting of a head and a handle, the work is consistent with the typical form of ruyi sceptre produced by the Qing court and was designed and created in the Zaobanchu Imperial Workshops. The handle has the form of a hu sceptre and is decorated with a crashing wave pattern towards the bottom.
The sceptre is dominated by an ascending imperial dragon in pursuit of the flaming pearl of wisdom elevated by a lingzhi fungus, a symbol of longevity. The sculptural quality of the sceptre is evident in the muscular body of the dragon accomplished by a combination of openwork and high-relief carving.
Alongside the Imperial jade ruyi sceptre, two Qianlong-period jade pieces are also featured: an inscribed white jade ‘landscape’ boulder and a white jade chilong bi disc.
Top section of the Khotan white jade ‘Landscape' Boulder
Left side section of the Khotan white jade ‘Landscape' Boulder
Right side section of the Khotan white jade ‘Landscape' Boulder
Imperial inscribed Khotan white jade ‘Landscape' Boulder
Created in Qianlong period (reign 1735-1796), Qing dynasty (1644-1911), the poem dated to the Spring of the gengxu year, corresponding to 1790
Height: 12.5 cm
- A Romance with Jade: From the De An Tang Collection, Yongshou Palace, Palace Museum, Beijing, 2004, Cat. No. 47
Estimated Price: HK$6,000,000 – 10,000,000 (around US$770,000-1.2 million)
The white jade bi disc is carved with three chilong dragons in relief on one side
White Jade Archaistic ‘Chilong’ Bi Disc
Created in Qianlong period (reign 1736-1795), Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
- Spink & Son Ltd., London
- A Romance with Jade: From the De An Tang Collection, Yongshou Palace, Palace Museum, Beijing, 2004, Cat. No. 133
Estimated Price: HK$3,000,000 – 5,000,000 (around US$390,000-640,000)
Auction House: Sotheby’s Hong Kong
Sale: Important Chinese Art including Imperial Jades from the De An Tang Collection
Date and Time: 13 October 2021 | 10am (Hong Kong local time)
Number of lots: 95