Lot 7: DISC IN SEMI-TRANSLUCENT JADE
December 3, 2016
Vienna, Vienna, AustriaLive Auction
Jade. China, Late Neolithic period, Qijia culture, c.2200-1900 BC
Discs in jade form one of the main category of artefacts crafted in the Neolithic period and are attested amongst many Chinese cultures. In the late Neolithic it was Liangzhu (c.3300-2200 BC) which made the largest use of discs in jade, but during the transition to the Bronze age, towards the end of the 3rd millennium BC, they are found spread over a larger portion of Chinese territory: jade discs have in fact come to light in sites of the Dawenkou (c.4000-2500 BC) and Longshan (c.2500-1700 BC) cultures of eastern China, then further west in Shanxi province, at Taosi culture sites, western Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, where they have been discovered in burials of the Qijia culture. The present disc and the similar one in this auction are carved from a variety of translucent and variegated jade which is typical of the North-western regions: bi discs and cong tubes are also found in conspicuous numbers in Qijia culture graves.
The jade is light green and semi-translucent with diffused brown markings and dark veining determined by the iron and other minerals contained in the jade, which has turned white in one section of the border. The hole was drilled from one side only of the jade, according to a technique widely employed on Qijia culture jades: the wall, which slopes gently inwards, has numerous tiny grooves engraved on it, marks left by the drill used during the perforation of the disc.
Compare a similar disc (6x4.6 cm) in the collections of the National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan (object number 89-00040) carved from a partially translucent light green jade, published in J. Johnston and Chan Lai Pik, 5,000 Years of Chinese Jade, Featuring Selections from the National Museum of History, Taiwan, and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, San Antonio Museum of Art, 2011, no.13.
Another similar disc from Gallery Zacke (catalogue number AK515-151) can be seen at http://www.zacke.at/en/item/16966/bi-disk
玉璧 - 新石器時代晚期，齊家文化, 公元前2200-1900
直径 11.2 厘米 -孔径 4.1 厘米
DIAMETER 11.2 CM - HOLE 4.1 CM
From an Italian 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.