The top jade items of the art auctions of 2008

Every year the art publishing house Artouch ( in Taiwan publishes a 700+ page catalogue (purchase via for about 90$US) showing the object of the mayor Chinese Art auctions of the preceding year. Also this year a large section (140+ pages) is dedicated to auctioned jades.

I present you below the top ten jades (as per auction price) of 2008 with their short original description and the achieved approximate price in US$ as listed in this survey.



Nr. 1
A magnificent imperial white jade “dragon” vase and cover – Qianlong period – 28cm height

Christie – Hong Kong – 3,285.000 US$


Nr. 2
A magnificent and extremely rare imperial white jade “zodiac animal” marriage bowl and cover – Qianlong period – 21cm width

Christie – Hong Kong – 2,700.000 US$


A large jadeite figure of Guanyin – Mid Qing Dynasty – 68.5cm height

Council Auction House – China – 2,700.000 US$


Nr. 4
A very rare imperial white jade “guang” archaistic vessel and cover – Qianlong period – 19.8cm height

Christie – UK – 2,274.000 US$ (?)


Nr. 5
A pair of exceptionally fine white jade circular “elephant” boxes and covers – Qianlong period – 16.4cm diameter

Christie – UK – 2,274.000 US$


Nr. 6
A superbly carved imperial spinach-green jade brush pot – Qianlong period – 15.8cm height

Christie – UK – 1,602.000 US$


Nr. 7
An exceptionally fine and rare yellow belt hook – Western Han Dynasty – 9.3x6.5x1.5cm

Christie – UK – 1,420.000 US$


Nr. 8
A rare miniature imperial “Prajnaparamita Sutra” jade book – Mark and period Qianlong period

Sotheby’s – Hong Kong – 945.000 US$



Nr. 9
An exquisite imperial white jade teapot and cover – early 18th century – 18.6cm height

Christie – Hong Kong – 937.000 US$

       Nr. 10
An exquisite jadeite vase and cover – early 20th century – 26cm height

Christie – Hong Kong – 840.000 US$


Next to these capital jade items also the auction of a set of jade seals made headlines.

The most important of these pieces are shown below.

 Nr 1
An exceptional imperial white jade “Qianlong Yubi” seal, the seal of the Kangxi period, the seal face recarved during the Qianlong reign – 12.5x12.5cm

Sotheby’s – Hong Kong – 9,600.000 $US


Nr. 2
A very fine imperial white jade “Zi Qiang Bu Xi” seal – Qianlong period – 7.5x7.5cm

Sotheby’s – Hong Kong – 5,700.000 $US


A massive imperial Khotan-green jade “Tian En Ba Xun Zhi Bao” seal – Qianlong period – 12.7x12.7cm

Sotheby’s – Hong Kong – 2,815.000 $US


Nr. 4
A superb pair of imperial white jade “dragon” seals – Qianlong period – 5x2.8cm

Sotheby’s – Hong Kong – 2,300.000 $US


Nr. 5
A small and extremely fine imperial white jade “Sanxi Tang” seal    -Qianlong period – 3.1x1.8cm

Sotheby’s – Hong Kong – 1.630.000 $US


Nr. 6
A pair of imperial spinach-green jade “dragon” seals – Qianlong period – 4.5x4.5 and 4.5x2.9cm

Sotheby’s – Hong Kong – 1.542.000 $US



5500 pages of jades – The 15 volumes of the “The complete collection of jades unearthed in China”

The Science Press of Beijing and the Beijing Institute of Jade Culture have published in 2005 a monumental collection of 15 volumes with about 370 pages each on archeologically well traceable jades found in China.

I noticed the volumes recently in Hangzhou and have quickly taken some pictures of the volumes on the fly and want to alert you on their availability.

The 15 volumes present jades in function of their place of finding going from volume 1 covering finds in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei all the way to volume 15 showing jades found in the Chinese Far West or in the provinces of Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia and Xinjiang. It is logical that the promises of the title “the complete collection…” is not fulfilled otherwise at least 100 times more volumes would be needed!

Each jade item, shown in color pictures, has a short description in English indicating also the museum or institution caring for it now.

In each volume also a summary of the jade finds of the particular province and their dynastic background is presented. This text has been reviewed by the well known US jade expert Mrs. Elizabeth Childs-Johnson and has thus gained much in content and editorial clarity.

The entire set costs 4980 RMB or approximately 730 US$.



Since 1993, Deborah has been offering jade carving workshops at her home based studio, in Vernon, British Columbia. Usually there are only one or 2 participants at a time. Both small and medium scale projects are taken on, with 99% of them completed by the end of each session.

So what's new.....?

In the fall of 2008, Deborah invited Donn Salt to demonstrate his small scale carving skills in her studio, and rounded up 4 eager participants for this unique opportunity. Donn is a world renowned jade artist from New Zealand, who has recently become part of the North American jade family.

For those who are just becoming acquainted to jade and to Donn's work in paticular, his website will take you on a magical tour of his exquisite works of art. Click here for more of Donn's work.

After the Vernon workshop, the next destination was due south, to Big Sur, California. The 17th annual Jade Festival was held on October 10, 11, & 12. Both Donn and Deborah showed their pieces at this event with Jade Haven Galleries. Following that, the 2nd annual workshop at the California School of Jade Carving was scheduled to begin on October 20th, for 6 days. This was hosted once again by Mike Burkleo, who provided the space, equipment and passion for learning the techniques involved in carving jade. Nine students in all enjoyed an intensive 6 day session with Donn and Deborah, who shared their expertise with small and medium scale approaches to working jade.

There is a great number of people associated with jade and the arts, that are very interested in learning these skills. Next October's workshop is tentatively booked, and the waiting list is getting longer!

The Renaissance is well on its way!

A jade classic by Bill Koochin carved from Ogden Jade in Canada. Deborah requested that Bill bring the piece along with him to show the others in the Vernon workshop. Bill was Deborah's sculpture instructor at the Vancouver Scholool of Art (1969 - 1973)

Kenny Comello carved this pendant out of his own California Blue Jade. He was one of nine participants at the California jade workshop.

Chris Poelma's Cassiar Jade bowl

Master jade carver Donn Salt from New Zealand demonstrating handsanding

A collection of finished jade sculptures, pendants and bangles . These were carved by some of the participants of the Californis jade workshop. Donn and Deborah's pieces are featured here as well.

This year's attendees at Mike Burkleo's 2nd annual jade workshop, in Fairfield California.