Description: Jade. China, Late Neolithic period, Qijia culture, c.2200-1900 BC
This disc is carved from a pale green, semi-translucent jade with large brown and reddish areas: part of the body is also covered by dark speckles. The chalky-white patches visible along the rim are portions of the jade which have been heavily modified while the disc was buried in the tomb: these alterations occur as a reaction to the acidity of the soil or if the jades were put in contact with the corpse. As it is often the case with jades from North-west China, the central hole has been drilled from one side only and the core was probably chopped off, as suggested by the slightly rugged look of the rim bordering the hole.
A close comparable example carved in a differently coloured stone is a disc from Gallery Zacke, catalogue number AK1115-111: see description and images at the following link, http://www.zacke.at/en/item/17697/ritual-bi-disc
玉璧 - 新石器時代晚期，齊家文化, 公元前2200-1900
直径 9.2 厘米 -孔径 4 厘米
DIAMETER 9.2 CM - HOLE 4 CM
From an Italian collection
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.