A Chinese jade horse dating to the 17th-century is expected to fetch up to £100,000 at a British auction.
The piece, measuring 23.5cm in length, will go under the hammer in this week’s Asian Art Sale being run by Duke’s Auctioneers.
The recumbent horse is reclined to one side, with its head turned to the right and its ears pointed forward. Its mane has been finely carved and the face features a crisply defined mouth, nostrils and eyes. The front legs are tucked under the body, with its finely detailed tail swept around and tucked between the back leg and generous hindquarters.
The underside shows the four folded legs.
The jade has sea-green tones with lighter and darker markings, the back area with some russet and brown skin remaining.
The piece dates from the 17th-century, either the late Ming or early Qing Dynasty. The auction house estimates it will fetch between £50,000 and £100,000.
It is being offered from an important private collection of Chinese and other East Asian art.
An auction house spokesman told local media that there had been a great deal of interest in the piece, not only because of the astonishing workmanship but because of the subject.