A carved celadon jade figure of an elephant Maximize

A carved celadon jade figure of an elephant

Celadon jade, embossed and chiseled gilt bronze, turquoises
Qianlong period (1736-1795)
Height (without the stand) : 21.5 cm
French private collection

The elephant bearing a gilt bronze caparison with turquoises and hardstone inlays, decorated with lotuses and a lustral water vase on its back, one of the "Eight Buddhist Emblems" (Babao). The combination of the elephant (xiang) and the vase (ping) a reference to the universal peace (taiping youxiang). A vase resting on an elephant back is a pun on the homophony between those words.

The Palace Museum Collection - A Treasury of Ming & Qing Dynasty Palace furniture, vol. II - Fig. 782
Classics of the Forbidden City - Life in the Forbidden City of Qing Dynasty, n°215