There is a Chinese saying “黄金有价，玉无价” which translates as “gold has value; jade is priceless”, which means that the value of gold is measurable, but the value of jade exceeds the value of the stone itself. While the mineral composition, size, and clarity greatly influence the price of jade, proper purpose and design can also drastically change the value of jade. Below are the top 10 most expensive jade pieces at auction price.
Jade King Liangzhu Cong
The Jade King is a type of jade ritual instrument carved with the figure of a half-beast, half-man. The round inner shape and the square outer shape represent heaven (round) and earth (square). The meaning of a king goes beyond a ritual tool and a symbol of power, before the advent of writing, the exchange of such an item could provide stability between clans without the use of violence.
Western riding Chania
Feather Man is a flying immortal in ancient Chinese mythology. They differ from other immortals in that they have wings. At first glance, this jade sculpture resembles a man on horseback, but it is actually a fairy on a pegasus traveling through space.
Qing Dynasty Guanyin
When collecting jade, it is important to choose a piece of stone in its original state, that is, it should not have cracks or dirt on it. The transparency and purity of this particular Guanyin jade, especially in the face area, is what makes this piece of jewelry so valuable.
The work of the famous modern sculptor Kiu King Qiu. He revolutionized the Chinese jade world in that he brought modernity to the Chinese tradition of jade sculpture, combined with his stone carving technique and Giacometti-like style.
White jade goat’s head in the shape of a melon, inlaid with copper
This white jade carrying pot was first assembled by American socialite Millicent Rogers. In the first half of the 20th century, most collectors in the United States collected ancient Chinese jade that had undergone academic research. However, Millicent’s jade collection was based solely on her aesthetics and taste. She loved the color white, and as such, white jade carvings and white-glazed porcelain from the Qing Dynasty (including this very pot) made up the vast majority of her collection of Chinese tableware.
White jade Ludun incense burner
Ludun is a legendary Chinese auspicious creature. It looks like a unicorn, but with the body of a lion and the paws of a bear. He can cover 18,000 kilometers a day and master different languages. Ludun can discover the truth, and therefore they are portrayed as guardians of enlightened rulers. Worship of the Ludun was prized by the royal family of the Ming and Qing dynasties. This pair of white jade ludong was in the inner palace during the Qianlong period.
White Jade Crane and Deer Pen Holder
The pen holder has been a favorite subject of literati since ancient times. The elegant furnishings of the study, including pen stands, were often used to indicate status and evaluate literary ability. Thus, various exquisite pen holders appeared during the Qianlong period. This particular instrument has been carefully crafted and is perhaps the largest jade pen rest among private collectors.
Imperial jasper carving
This piece is made of jasper and has the shape of a triangle/mountain. Jasper is a translucent green jade. Although triangular/mountain jade was quite common during the Qing Dynasty, this particular piece is very rare due to its size. With a width of 80 cm, this is one of the largest pieces of mountain jasper (with the exception of a few items in the Palace Museum).
seven rings of the emperor
The archer’s ring is a riding and shooting tool traditionally worn by the king and banner brothers. Often made of jade, they were used as a status symbol. The size of the ring was determined by the civil and military status of the wearer.
Shuanjian white jade figurine of Wu Desheng
This jade decoration is very characteristic of Wu Desheng’s work. His work depicting women has a very distinct style: an oval face, willow eyebrows, red phoenix eyes, drop nose, cherry mouth, round shoulders, plump breasts and thick buttocks. Interestingly, these are all characteristics of traditional Chinese beauty standards.v