First, let’s just get this out of the way: this is not a soap dish. Well, not unless you have $100 grand to decorate the corner of your sink. This delightful little gem is being offered at Sotheby’s New York during this week’s Asia Week, a week which has become synonymous with fabulous prices for fabulous Asian art.
Jade is revered in China with a status that likely surpasses our thinking of gold and diamonds and the newly minted Chinese are buying back the green gold by the truck load. It really can be seen as repatriating the treasures collected by Europeans and Americans in the last centuries and it’s a matter of numbers: with more Chinese entering the realms of the middle and upper classes every year, the supply of exquisite jades is being spread thin with prices climbing higher and higher.
I’m partial to this little piece that served as a brush washer to scholars and authors. The form is elegant, the color sublime and it adds the right amount of “antiqueness” to any modern space to give it soul. What more could you ask if you’re spending $100,000+?
Image credit: © Sotheby’s. Lot 242, A fine and rare white jade washer, 18th century. Width 5 in. | 12.6 cm. Estimate US$100-150,000 to be sold on 14 September 2011 in New York | sold US$194,500