Lot 15: BI DISC
December 3, 2016
Vienna, Vienna, AustriaLive Auction
Jade. China, Late Neolithic period, early Bronze age, c.2000 BC
This fine disc is carved from translucent green jade which in some points gets darker and almost black. One third of the disc is strongly altered: here, the jade has turned whitish, with a large patch of orange-yellow colour. The disc is even in thickness, with smooth borders and the hole was drilled from both sides.
The type of jade and workmanship suggest that this disc was produced in the transitional phase between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age. The stone differs from that usually associated with the late Neolithic cultures of North-west China, such as Qijia, since it is more shiny, even when the light hits the surface without passing through the jade. It is thus possible that the disc was crafted in other regions, such as Shaanxi, or in sites associated with the Taosi culture (c.2300-1900 BC) in Xiangfen, Shanxi province.
A disc carved from green jade (diameter 22 cm) and from the Joseph Hotung collection is illustrated in J. Rawson, Chinese Jades: from the Neolithic to the Qing, London 1995, no.7.6.
An ever bigger disc, with an impressive diameter of 34.1 cm from the Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987) collection was auctioned at Christie's New York on 18 March 2009, Sale 2268, Lot 277:
玉璧 - 新石器時代晚期, 青铜器時代早期, 公元前2000
直径 19.7 厘米 -孔径 6.5 厘米; 密 0.4 厘米
DIAMETER 19.7 CM - HOLE 6.5 CM - THICKNESS 0.4 CM
From the collection of Sohel Chawla, New Delhi - Vienna
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.