Description: Jade. China, Late Neolithic period, c.2500-2000 BC
This axe has a rectangular profile with slightly tapering sides: seen from the side, it has a lens-shaped cross-section. It widens towards the rounded cutting edge, while the butt is straight. The sides are rounded and smooth and the entire axe is finely polished. The hole has been drilled from both sides, creating a small ridge which has not been smoothed down: incised tool marks can also be seen on the wall of the hole. The stone has suffered some alterations and turned opaque whitish in many areas.
The shape and workmanship of this axe recall similar artefacts crafted by the Neolithic cultures which developed in eastern China, from Liangzhu (c.3300-2200 BC) to Longshan (c.2500-1700 BC). A somewhat similar example is published in M. Loehr and L. G. Fitzgerald Huber, Ancient Chinese Jades, Cambridge 1975, n.2 (object numbers 1943.50.111) and it is part of the collections of the Harvard Art Museums.
A closer matching example is a stone axe of the same size published in J.J. Lally & Co., Archaic Chinese Bronzes, Jades and Works of Art, New York 1994, cat. no.14.
长 14.7 厘米;宽 7.6 厘米
LENGTH 14.7 CM - WIDTH 7.6 CM
From the collection of Sohel Chawla, New Delhi - Vienna
Notes: All jades in this catalogue will soon be published in the forthcoming jade book by FILIPPO SALVIATI: "THE MYSTERIOUS STONE - Archaic and Antique Chinese Jades from Neolithic to Han from Private Collections".
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Professor Salviati teaches Chinese Art at the University "La Sapienza" in Rome, Faculty of Oriental Studies, and is one of the world's most recognized jade experts, specialized in archaic jades until the Song Dynasty. Hi-resolution pictures of all jades are to be found in our web-site, and can be enlarged so that handwork, age-related traces of weathering, as well as colors are very well recognizable.