Lot 49: An unusual Chinese cloisonné disc, yuan, the rim inlaid with clouds on a...
November 15, 2016
Newbury, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: An unusual Chinese cloisonné disc, yuan, the rim inlaid with clouds on a turquoise ground, the edges and underside gilded, 11cm diameter These shapes usually referred to as bi are known from as early as the Neolithic period, and in Chinese literature the term bi is mentioned in the Zhou li (Rites of Zhou) of the 2nd century B.C. where it symbolises Heaven. Yet, yuan plays a more important role in the secular life. During the Neolithic period, it was used as bracelet, and since the Han Dynasty (206 BC), yuan was used in the court to lead the emperor towards his dragon throne. It is also recorded in Xunzi that when the emperor planned to meet a foreign diplomat, a yuan would be sent to the diplomat by the emperor's servant. The difference lies in the proportion between the circular hole (called hao ) and the disk part (called rou ). When the diameter of rou is bigger than hao , it is called bi. When the diameter of hao is bigger than rou , it is called yuan . When they are almost the same size, it is called huan . -1???????