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Christie's to offer fine Chinese carvings and works of art from the Lizzadro Collection
A Well-Carved White Jade Ruyi Scepter, Qianlong/Jiaqing period, 1736-1820, 15 3/8 in. (39 cm) long. Estimate: $200,000-300,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2013.
NEW YORK, NY.- On March 21, Christie’s will offer over 100 superb works from A Collecting Legacy: Fine Chinese Jade Carvings and Works of Art from the Lizzadro Collection. Joseph Lizzadro (1898–1972) was Italian by birth, who emigrated with his father to the United States in the early 1900s. Following his move to Illinois, Lizzadro worked his way up from a laborer at the Meade Electric Company, and eventually was appointed Chairman of the Board. Lizzadro took up the art of lapidary and began his lifelong passion and fascination with Chinese jade and hardstone carvings. Over the years, his collection grew and he expressed interest in sharing “with others our enjoyment of the eternal beauty in gem stones and our appreciation of the art with which man has complemented the work of nature.”

Lizzadro’s dream was realized on November 4, 1962, when the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art opened its doors to the public in Elmhurst’s Wilder Park. The collection continues to grow under the discerning eye of his son, John Lizzadro, Sr., who shares his father’s passion for Chinese carving. The museum now houses more than 200 pieces of jade and other hardstones, including pieces of international importance. It also displays exhibits explaining the evolution of these stones, especially jade, while also celebrating the art of the lapidary.

Lot 851 - A Well-Carved White Jade Ruyi Scepter
Qianlong/Jiaqing period, 1736-1820
15 3/8 in. (39 cm) long
Estimate: $200,000-300,000

Ruyi means `as one desires,' and is associated with expressions such as jixiang ruyi, “may all your good fortunes be fulfilled.” These ruyi scepters were known to have been commissioned by Qing emperors either to commemorate birthdays or to be bestowed as birthday gifts. This well-carved scepter is adorned with a fruiting and flowering double-gourd vine, an important symbol in Chinese art and culture as it represents several auspicious meanings. With its numerous seeds, the double gourd is a symbol of fertility, particularly for male children, as the word for “seed” shares the same
pronunciation as `son.' The word for gourd (hulu) is also a pun for `good fortune' (fu) and `emolument' (lu) combined.

Lot 832 - A White Jade Archaistic Openwork Plaque
Qianlong Four-Character Inscribed Mark And Of The Period (1736-1795)
41/8 in. (10.2 cm) high
Estimate: $80,000-120,000

Carved in the 18th century, a magnificent white jade archaistic openwork plaque likely credits its design to Han dynasty (206 BC - AD220) prototypes. Many pieces that were produced in the Qianlong reign, including this plaque, were slightly modified to suit the prevailing taste of the Emperor. The plaque depicts a pair of dragons with contorted bodies flanking a ring dividing the three characters of the phrase yi zisun, which translates to “blessings for future generations.”

Lot 809 - A Very Rare Pale Greyish-Green And Brown Jade Bowl
Liao/Yuan dynasty (10th-13th century BC)
6 in. (15.3 cm) diam.
Estimate: $80,000-120,000

Both the shape of this extremely rare bowl and the type of dragon carved around the sides are highly unusual for a jade bowl of this period. The particular type of dragon depicted here, with its long snout, long sweeping horns, fierce expression, wildly undulating body and curved scimitar-like claws, was used as decoration on various mediums from the Tang through the Yuan dynasty.

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March 4, 2013

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