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Lot 4: AXE-SHAPED PENDANT
December 3, 2016
Vienna, Vienna, AustriaLive Auction
Jade. China, Late Neolithic period, early Bronze age, c.2500-2000 BC
This small jade is shaped like a chisel with an almost regular rectangular form: the butt is only slightly shorter than the cutting edge, which is bevelled and thinner than the rest of the object. The hole is very interesting, since it was drilled from both sides but one perforation is narrower than the other, so that there is a small ridge at the end of the larger hole. The jade was probably suspended on a cord and worn as a pendant, but it is also possible that it was used, as suggested by its shape, as a scraper, as a tool to massage parts of the body and to soften the muscles. Almost half of the stone is semi-transparent and of green colour, while the rest is opaque and reddish brown: one side of the jade looks as if calcified and the stone here has changed to ivory white.
Compare a larger axe carved from a very similar type of jade from Gallery Zacke, catalogue number AK616--099, image at description here:
钺形玉坠-新石器時代晚期, 青铜器時代早期, 公元前2500-2000
长 8.8 厘米 - 宽 4.6 厘米
LENGTH 8.8 CM - WIDTH 4.6 CM
From a German collection
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".
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.