Curator’s Choice 2016

Chinese Jades at Planting Fields, Oyster Bay, New York

In China, two gemlike materials are known as jade: nephrite and jadeite. The pieces at Coe Hall are nephrite, a silicate of calcium and magnesium. It is found in the mountains and riverbeds of far northwestern China, from where it has been exported for nearly 4000 years. Jade is valued for its attractive colors, and subtle translucence, sensual feel, and extreme resistance to external forces. The Chinese compare these physical qualities to aspects of moral character: the smooth texture to humanity, the dense structure to intellect, and the translucence to honesty, to name only a few. Carved jades have been highly valued from ancient times, and by the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), when the Coe Hall pieces were made, jades were unsurpassed in detail, complexity and technical virtuosity. The slow and laborious working of jade is also likened to the process of perfecting the human mind; only through long and persistent effort can true character and integrity be developed.

The seventeen jades exhibited at Planting Fields were collected by Robert Coe (1902-1985), second son of William R. Coe for whom the house was built in 1920. Robert bequeathed his collection to Planting Fields Foundation.

Chinese Jades at Planting Fields, Oyster Bay, New York

In China, two gemlike materials are known as jade: nephrite and jadeite. The pieces at Coe Hall are nephrite, a silicate of calcium and magnesium. It is found in the mountains and riverbeds of far northwestern China, from where it has been exported for nearly 4000 years. Jade is valued for its attractive colors, and subtle translucence, sensual feel, and extreme resistance to external forces. The Chinese compare these physical qualities to aspects of moral character: the smooth texture to humanity, the dense structure to intellect, and the translucence to honesty, to name only a few. Carved jades have been highly valued from ancient times, and by the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), when the Coe Hall pieces were made, jades were unsurpassed in detail, complexity and technical virtuosity. The slow and laborious working of jade is also likened to the process of perfecting the human mind; only through long and persistent effort can true character and integrity be developed.

The seventeen jades exhibited at Planting Fields were collected by Robert Coe (1902-1985), second son of William R. Coe for whom the house was built in 1920. Robert bequeathed his collection to Planting Fields Foundation.

Elephant China, Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), 18th-19th century 

Jade
Planting Fields Foundation, 1985.007.050

 

Three-Legged Vessel China
Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)
18th-19th century Jade (nephrite)
Planting Fields Foundation, 1985.007.051 

Vessel with Frog Lid
China, Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), 18th-19th century
Jade (nephrite)
Planting Fields Foundation, 1985.007.052

Small Water Buffalo Statuette
China, Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), 18th-19th century
Jade (nephrite)
Planting Fields Foundation, 1985.007.055

Chrysanthemum Shaped Dish with Foliate Handles
China, Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) 18th-19th century
Jade (nephrite)
Planting Fields Foundation 1985.007.037