Double vase or champion vessel

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1

Terms of Use

Usage Conditions Apply

At A Glance

  • Period

    ca. 14th-16th centuries
  • Geography

  • Material

  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 8.9 x 8.8 x 8.4 cm (3 1/2 x 3 7/16 x 3 5/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    This jade vessel has double barrels supported on a recumbent bearlike creature. This animal on the base is ingeniously carved so that his face appears on one side of the vessel and his haunches appear on the reverse side. A mythical bird, or falconlike, creature spreads highly stylized wings across the front of the cylinders, which are further embellished by an archaistic bronze motif executed in thread relief.
  • Provenance

    From at least 1963 to 1968
    Desmond Gure (1905-1970), London, from at least May 1963 [1]
    From 1968 to 1987
    Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), New York, purchased from Desmond Gure on January 10, 1968 [2]
    From 1987
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, gift of Arthur M. Sackler on September 11, 1987 [3]
    [1] Gure published the jade in “Some Unusual Early Jades and their Dating,” Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society 1960-61 1961-62 vol. 33 (1963), pp. 56-57, pl. 44a-b, with an annotation that the object was “an heirloom previously owned by members of the German and British Royal Families.”
    The same year he lent the jade to an exhibition Celadon Jade at the National Museum in Stockholm in 1963, see Celadon Jade: Finds, Specimen, Scientific Results (Stockholm: The National Museum, May – June 1963), cat. 137.
    See also typed, undated inventory of Desmond Gure’s collection, “List 2 – Objects Exhibited at Stockholm 1963,” no. 191: “A pale greenish white jade vessel formed as two cylinders – 3 9/16 in high,” copy in object file.
    [2] According to information provided by Arthur M. Sackler Foundation in October 2009, Arthur M. Sackler purchased the jade as part of Desmond Gure’s jade collection on January 10, 1968.
    See “Arthur M. Sackler Gift: Chinese Jades: Summary,” where the object is listed under Sackler Collection no. J-1311 and identified as S1987.723.
    [3] Pursuant to the agreement between Dr. Arthur M. Sackler and the Smithsonian Institution, dated July 28, 1982, legal title of the donated objects was transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on September 11, 1987.
  • Collection

    Arthur M. Sackler Collection
  • Exhibition History

    America's Smithsonian (February 9 to August 26, 1997)
    The Arts of China (November 18, 1990 to September 7, 2014)
    Monsters, Myths and Minerals (September 28, 1987 to November 26, 1995)
    Chinese Jade Throughout the Ages (May 1 to June 22, 1975)
    Celadon, Jade: Finds, Specimen, Scientific Results (May to June 1963)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Desmond Gure (1905-1970)
    Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987)
  • Origin

  • Credit Line

    Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The National Museum of Asian Art welcomes information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Keep Exploring