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Auction Description for Galerie Zacke Vienna: Chinese Jade Art Auction

Chinese Jade Art Auction (30 Lots)

by Galerie Zacke Vienna


30 lots with images

December 3, 2016

Live Auction

Vienna, Vienna, Austria

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HUANG PENDANT

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Description: Jade. China, Neolithic period, c.3500-3000 BC This large and impressive ornament with slightly raised and curved ends falls within the category of the so-called huang or arc-shaped pendants. It is carved from a thin slab of pale green, translucent jade and its thinness allows the light to filter through it, except for the extremities: here, the concentration of iron and other inclusions makes the jade opaque and modifies the colour of the stone to a deeper green and brown. The contrast between the darker ends and the central, translucent body of the huang seems to have been deliberately sought by the Neolithic artisan, who incorporated in the final object and in a balanced manner the various nuances of colour of the raw material. The white patches which dot the entire body of the jade are due to natural modifications of the stone, occurred while the object was buried in the ground. Each end has a perforation to suspend the ornament: the holes have been drilled from both sides of the jade and are slightly slanted. Huang pendants carved in jade appear for the first time in conspicuous numbers in the finds of the Neolithic cultures of South China, namely Beiyinyangying (near present-day Nanjing, c.4000-3000 BC), Majiabang and Songze cultures (c.4000-3300 BC). Huang produced by the Beiyinyangying culture are slender, with a rather thick body and a strongly emphasized arched form: those of the Majiabang and Songze cultures are carved instead from thin slices of jades, the bottom is often flattened while the slightly raised extremities suggest the curvature of the ornament. Another feature of Majiabang and Songze huang are the holes for suspension, which are usually carved from both sides of the jade and have a slanted outline, as in the pendant presented here. This jade can be compared to a huang from the Joseph Hotung collection which is almost exactly half in size (12.2x2.4 cm), carved from a similar pale, translucent green jade with brown markings at the curved extremities: it is published in J. Rawson, Chinese jade, from the Neolithic to the Qing, London 1995, no.5:13. Two further comparable huang of similar shape, part of the Robert H. Ellsworth (1929-2014) collection, were auctioned at Christie's New York on 19 March 2015, Sale 11420, Lot 527 (http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/two-opaque-jade-handle-shaped-pendants-huang-southeast-5876584-details.aspx?from=salesummery&intObjectID=5876584&sid=57355e3a-1ea9-4a96-81a9-8feba9d64467). 玉璜 - 新石器时代, 公元前3500-3000 宽 25.1 厘米 - 高 5.7 厘米 WIDTH 25.1 CM - HEIGHT 5.7 CM From a German collection

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BIRD-SHAPED PENDANT

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Description: Jade. China, Hongshan culture, c.3500-3000 BC Pendants shaped as birds form one of the principal categories of Hongshan jades and have been discovered in the tombs of important sites in the provinces of Lioning and Inner Mongolia. These birds are represented in a standard form though they exhibit at the same time small variations that differentiate them one from the other, so that each individual carving has no identical counterpart. The birds are portrayed with outstretched wings embellished with fine grooves, framing a short tail which extends at the bottom. The head is small, as if recessed between the wings, and is provided with a beak and bulging eyes: these may be either round, as in the present example, or elongated and almond-shaped. The back is always plain and undecorated, but pierced with a loop-hole drilled behind the head in order to suspend the ornament on a cord. Their features suggest that these small carvings represent birds of prey like eagles, hawks or owls. The type of jade used for this carving has many inclusions, so that two-third of the stone looks brown and creamy white in colour, dotted with black speckles: the jade retains the original green colour and translucency only along the edge of one of the wings. The stone is thoroughly polished and smooth to the touch but, due to the material used, does not have the shiny finish so often seen on this type of carvings. In many areas the surface is covered by tiny scratches, visible to the naked eye and left by the abrasives used to polish the jade. Two comparable examples from excavations include a bird from a site near the city of Fuxin, in the collections of the Institute of archaeology and cultural relics of Liaoning province; and a second carving discovered at the Narixintai site, Right Bairin Banner, now in the Museum of Chifeng city, Inner Mongolia. Both are reproduced in Zhang Shuwei 張樹偉 and Li Xiangdong 李向東 (eds.), Shikong chuanyue: Hongshan wenhua chutu yuqi jing pin zhan 時空穿越:红山文化玉器精品展 (Through Time and Space: Unearthed Jade Articles of the Hongshan Culture), Beijing 2012, pp.43-45. 鸟形玉佩 - 红山文化, 公元前3500-3000 宽 7 厘米 - 高 5 厘米 WIDTH 7 CM - HEIGHT 5 CM From an Italian collection

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PENDANT WITH MASK MOTIF

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Description: Jade. China, Hongshan culture, c.3500-3000 BC This small rectangular pendant, carved from a thin slab of translucent green jade with a few dark spots in it, is carved with a pattern recalling a stylized mask seen frontally. The cut-outs in the centre suggest the eyes and eyebrows of the mask, while the row of straight, double-pointed protrusions at the bottom evoke the teeth of an animal, hence the Chinese epithet 'toothed' used to label these peculiar jades. The central protrusion at the bottom is slightly longer than those on the sides and seems to suggest the nose of the animal face carved on the jade. Two additional pairs of pointed tips extend from the sides, framed by the short and bold hooks carved at the corners. The surface has a soft, lustrous polish and all edges, including the pointed tips on the four sides, have been softened. Similar though larger plaques decorated with stylized masks have been unearthed from tombs at the Niuheliang site, in Jianping county, Liaoning province, and from other Hongshan sites in Inner Mongolia. The closest comparable example to the present plaque is represented by a similar, slightly larger (11 cm.) 'toothed' pendant presented by J. J. Lally & Co. in their exhibition Archaic Chinese Bronzes, Jades and Works of Art, New York, June 1994, and published in the accompanying catalogue as no. 7. 带齿兽面形玉佩 - 红山文化, 公元前3500-3000 宽 8.9 厘米 - 高 5 厘米 WIDTH 8.9 CM - HEIGHT 5 CM From an Italian collection

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AXE-SHAPED PENDANT

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Description: 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: http://www.zacke.at/en/item/19226/yue-axe-yue-axe 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

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BEAD IN THE SHAPE OF A CONG

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Description: Jade. China, Late Neolithic period, Liangzhu culture, ca.3300-2200 B.C Despite the small size, this bead is finely worked and presents all the elements that can be seen on larger cong. It looks like a hollowed cylinder with an external,squared profile which is conferred to it by the projections onto which the two types of Liangzhu jade masks are minutely incised. It is decorated with two registers carved with the anthropomorphic mask alternating with the one with animal features. The round eye of this human-like mask is set at the centre and on the sides of the small cong so that it is shared by both masks carved at the corners. The parallel, striated bands on the top border of the bead form a continuous band. The zoomorphic masks are instead fully detailed: there are only two of them since each one occupies two of the four sides of the small cong. Another interesting feature of this miniature cong is the strong discolouration of the stone, which has turned to an almost opaque, white colour, while the surface of the jade is covered by reddish lines signaling the presence of oxidised iron content in the stone. It is likely that this alteration was artificially induced through ritual burning of the jades at the time of burial, as seen on excavated artefacts from Liangzhu culture sites such as the two elite cemeteries of Fanshan and Yaoshan in Yuhan County, Zhejiang. Though this bead may have been strung together with several others to compose elaborate necklaces reserved for the members of the Liangzhu elite, archaeological evidence indicates that these small jades might also have been used to ornate ritual jade weapons such as yue-type axes: the beads were probably hung by small ropes passing through the wooden shaft of the weapon, as their position in the tombs and association with yue axes seem to suggest. This miniature cong can be compared to similar ones excavated from Liangzhu culture sites, such as those reproduced in Liangzhu wenhua yuqi, nos.70 and 175-177, and in Huang Xuanpei, Gems of the Liangzhu culture, no.69. 玉獸面紋琮形墜 -良渚文化, 公元前33世紀-前22世紀 高 4.9 厘米 HEIGHT 4.9 CM, DIAMETER 2.3 CM x 2.3 CM From an Austro-Hungarian collection

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LONG CHISEL-SHAPED BLADE

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Description: Jade. China, Late Neolithic period, Qijia culture, c.2200-1900 BC This long, substantial blade with a chisel-like profile is carved in a semi-translucent, mottled green jade. One side has a long brown-coloured streak which runs almost through the entire length of the blade and becomes thicker towards the cutting edge: it is probably part of the skin which covered the jade block from which the blade was sliced out. The body of the blade gets thinner towards the sides and the cutting edge, which is slightly convex, contrasts with the straight butt. Two holes of different size and drilled from opposite sides of the jade are aligned along the central axis: on one side of the blade there is a long groove which runs from the centre of the butt and gradually disappears towards the cutting edge. The shape of the blade recalls similar chisel-shaped blades or "ritual sceptres" found in sites of the Dawenkou (c.4000-2500 BC) and Longshan (c.2500-1700 BC) cultures of eastern China. However, the type of jade, workmanship and shape suggests an attribution to the late Neolithic cultures which flourished in North-west China, and more specifically Qijia: it is possible that the blade represents a local adaptation of a shape derived from other cultures, as it happens with the cong tubes and the bi discs found in Qijia culture sites in north-west China and ultimately derived from Liangzhu culture (c.3300-2200 BC) models. Two long chisel-like blades similar to the present one and with grooves on the surface, in the Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop, are published in M. Loehr and L. G. Fitzgerald Huber, Ancient Chinese Jades, Cambridge 1975, n.200 and 201 (object numbers 1943.50.5 and 1943.50.70, image at http://www.harvardartmuseums.org/collections/object/205135?position=0). Another comparable, slightly longer blade (27.6 x 7.4 cm) but carved in an ivory coloured jade with dark spots and from the Edward and Louise B. Sonneschein collection is in the Art Institute, Chicago (object number 1950.215). Like the present one, it has two holes of different sizes and drilled from opposite directions: http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/68695?search_no=13&index=1 A blade with a similar longitudinal cut in the middle, part of the Robert H. Ellsworth (1929-2014) collection, was auctioned at Christie's New York on 19 March 2015, Sale 11420, Lot 542: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/two-mottled-dark-green-opaque-jade-axes-5876599-details.aspx?from=salesummery&intObjectID=5876599&sid=57355e3a-1ea9-4a96-81a9-8feba9d64467 玉锛 - 新石器時代晚期,齊家文化, 公元前2200-1900 长 25.4 厘米 - 宽 6.4 厘米 LENGTH 25.4 CM - WIDTH 6.4 CM From an Italian collection

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DISC IN SEMI-TRANSLUCENT JADE

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Description: 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

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SMALL DISC

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Description: Jade. China, Late Neolithic period, early Bronze age, c.2500-2000 BC Small disc in light green and semi-translucent jade with a large reddish area near the border. The jade is actually a very pleasant visual mix of different shades of green and brown, determined by the inclusions and by the natural process of alteration of the stone, in progress in the areas marked by the white and cloudy patches. In a portion near the edge, the iron contained in the jade surfaces and oxidizes, creating blood-coloured veins and red spots. The disc has a distinctive lens-shaped cross-section: the jade around the central hole slopes gently towards the perforation and the border is thinner than the body of the disc. Similar small discs of this type have been found mostly in sites of the late Neolithic Dawenkou culture, often as part of ornaments composed of various elements in jade, such as the one discovered in 1971 at Yedian, Zoucheng City, Shandong Province, which also included jades shaped as the double disc pendant described below. For a colour plate of the ornament from Yedian, see Mou Yongkang牟永抗, Zhongguo yuqi quanji - 1 Yuanshi shehui 中国玉器全集-1:原始社会 (Chinese Jades: Vol.1, Early Societies), Shijiazhuang 1993, no.34. Compare a disc of similar size and shape from Gallery Zacke, number AK1114-052: http://www.zacke.at/en/item/16200/disc 玉璧 - 新石器時代晚期, 青铜器時代早期, 公元前2500-2000 直径 7.8 厘米; 孔径 2.1 厘米 DIAMETER 7.8 CM - HOLE 2.1 CM From an Italian collection

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PLAIN CONG

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Description: Jade. China, Late Neolithic period, Qijia culture, c.2200-1900 BC This cong is similar to the following No. 13 but it is slightly shorter and the jade is more variegated. The stone is semi-translucent and pale green in colour, with darker areas and a multitude of small speckles against a greyish background. Each side of the object has a different texture, where the various colours of the stone fade one into the other. On one side the jade is partly altered and the stone has turned whitish and chalky. The hole is perfectly drilled and the tool marks left by the drill have not been smoothed down. A very similar cong of the same width, 7.5 cm, and carved in a similar jade, has been recently auctioned at Christie's Hong Kong, last 5 April 2016, 'The Pavilion Sale', Sale 12548, Lot 1: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/an-olive-white-and-opaque-ivory-jade-cong-5982233-details.aspx?from=salesummery&intobjectid=5982233&sid=05b0b56a-0bc7-4204-b372-a458335cc3c5 An additional comparable example is a cong with a width of 7.3 cm, from the Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987) collection, auctioned at Christie's New York on 18 March 2009, Sale 2268, Lot 286: polished to a higher sheen, it is carved from a similarly variegated jade. http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/a-pale-greenish-white-and-mottled-brown-jade-5181922-details.aspx?from=salesummery&intObjectID=5181922&sid=c8068c1f-3098-4ec7-8e08-af3d3ca741d2 Compare also a similar cong (6x4.6 cm) in the collections of the National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan (object number 89-00037), 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.18. 玉琮 - 新石器時代晚期,齊家文化, 公元前2200-1900 宽 7 -高5 厘米 WIDTH 7 CM - HEIGTH 5 CM From an Italian collection

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DISC IN SEMI-TRANSLUCENT JADE

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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

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YUE AXE

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Description: Jade. China, Late Neolithic period, Qijia culture, c.2200-1900 BC This axe has a slightly tapering profile, with a gently curved cutting edge and the corners of the butt rounded: the centrally positioned hole, which was used to fasten the blade to a handle with cords, has been drilled from one side only of the jade: traces of tool marks are clearly visible on the wall of the hole. The axe is carved from a bi-coloured, semi-translucent jade, typical of North-west China. The jade is mostly brown, with different hues due to the more or less strong presence of iron within the mineral: some greyish shades can also be seen near the edge of the axe. Part of the top section, the sides and a central, large vein which runs diagonally from the hole are white: in these areas the jade is much purer and looks transparent when the light filters through the stone. The most remarkable feature of this axe is actually the radical change which occurs when the jade is exposed to light: from opaque and almost dull, the stone turns translucent and brilliant; the brown and reddish areas become semi-transparent and yellow-gold coloured, while the white areas, free from inclusions and impurities, are fully translucent. Two comparable multi-coloured axes of similar shape but different sizes were presented by Gallery Zacke in the past, catalogue numbers AB916083 and AK1114-065, descriptions and images at the following links: http://www.zacke.at/en/collection/19541/clearance-sale-auction-asian-art-17th-september-2016-2pm/item/18697/axe-ben http://www.zacke.at/en/item/16213/axe 玉鉞- 新石器時代晚期,齊家文化, 公元前2200-1900 长 16.6 厘米. 宽 8.7 厘米 LENGTH 16.6 CM - WIDTH 8.7 CM From an Italian collection

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THREE-SECTION DISC

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Description: Jade. China, Late Neolithic period, Qijia culture, c.2200-1900 BC Instead of being carved from a single piece of jade like the previous two items, this disc is actually formed by three arched segments, probably sliced from the same block of raw material. Each arched segment has both ends drilled with one and two holes, respectively: when the three segments are joined together to form a disc, the ends with one hole match those drilled with two. Such composite discs, formed by two to four segments and of varying dimensions, have been found in several burials of the Qijia culture, which developed in North-west China, and represent one of the most characteristic type of jades of this late Neolithic culture. Qijia sites which have yielded three-section discs like the present one include Zhaocun, in Tianshuishi, Gansu province, and Minhelajia, in Qinghai province. Here, tomb M17 has yielded two examples of such discs: in the first instance the three segments have been found buried in the soil and composed in the shape of the disc, while in the second the three portions were stacked one upon the other. This suggests that these peculiar items were either composed in a single shape or used independently as ornaments. The photographs accompanying the description of this lot have been taken to illustrate both alternative mode of composing together the arched-shaped sections of the disc. The jade is of good quality, mostly creamy white and translucent, with patches of light yellow colour and darker veins and speckles. A disc carved from a somewhat similar type of jade and from Gallery Zacke can be seen at this link: http://www.zacke.at/en/item/16965/large-bi-disk A similar three-part disc of smaller size and in green jade, part of the Robert H. Ellsworth collection, was auctioned at Christie's New York on 19 March 2015, Sale 11420, Lot 505: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/an-olive-green-jade-three-part-disc-northwest-china-5876562-details.aspx?from=salesummery&intObjectID=5876562&sid=57355e3a-1ea9-4a96-81a9-8feba9d64467 三節玉璧- 新石器時代晚期,齊家文化, 公元前2200-1900 直径 17.5 厘米 DIAMETER 17.5 CM From an Italian collection

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PLAIN CONG

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Description: Jade. China, Late Neolithic period, Qijia culture, c.2200-1900 BC Plain cong like this and the following one were carved in jade by the late Neolithic cultures which flourished in north-west China, and especially the Qijia culture: though based on similar artefacts created by the Liangzhu culture (c.3300-2200 BC), these later cong are always plain and lack the stylized masks carved at the corners of Liangzhu culture cong. This cong is carved in a variety of richly textured jade with many and extensive inclusions of iron which create various patches and shades of brown colour. Due to the composite nature of the stone, each side of the cong is slightly different in colour and texture from the others. For example, on one side the jade is mostly pale green and semi-translucent, while on the opposite one many short, black striations evoke the fur of an animal. There are a few natural fissures in the jade where the stone has turned whitish in colour. The two round collars projecting from each side of the cong are slightly tapering inwards, their borders softened. The sides are finely polished while the inner wall of the cylindrical perforation has not been smoothed: hence, the tool marks left by the tubular drill used to hollow the jade are still clearly visible. A comparable cong of the same width and slightly higher (7.5 cm), carved from pale green translucent jade and in the collection of the Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop, is reproduced in M. Loehr and L. G. Fitzgerald Huber, Ancient Chinese Jades from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, 1975, no.406. (object number 1943.50.508, image at http://www.harvardartmuseums.org/collections/object/204869?position=0) Another cong of similar size, carved from dark olive-green and brown jade and from the Robert H. Ellsworth (1929-2014) collection, was auctioned at Christie's New York on 19 March 2015, Sale 11420, Lot 557: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/a-dark-olive-green-and-brown-jade-cong-5876614-details.aspx?from=salesummery&intObjectID=5876614&sid=57355e3a-1ea9-4a96-81a9-8feba9d64467 玉琮 - 新石器時代晚期,齊家文化, 公元前2200-1900 宽 7 - 高6.5 厘米 - 孔径 6.2 厘米 WIDTH 7 CM - HEIGTH 6.5 CM - DIAMETER OF PERFORATION 6.2 CM From an Italian collection

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BI DISC

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Description: Jade. China, Late Neolithic period, early Bronze age, c. 2000 BC This large bi disc has such a strongly weathered surface that the jade looks almost disfigured and appears completely coated by a white patina. It looks almost as if the surface is covered with snow, from which emerge fragments of the texture of the jade. Compared to its diameter, the disc is very thin, with a central small hole which has been drilled from both sides. These features suggest a date around the early Bronze age period A similar large disc measuring 26.3 cm but with a larger hole (9 cm) and a strongly weathered surface is part of the collections of the National Museum of History, Taipei. Dated to the Shang period, it is published in Jade: A Traditional Chinese Symbol of Nobility and Character /玉:中國傅統美的象徵, National Museum of History, Taipei 1988 (text in English and Chinese), p.26. 玉璧 - 新石器時代晚期, 青铜器時代早期, 公元前2000 直径 27.5 厘米; 孔径 4.6 厘米; 密 0.6 厘米 DIAMETER 27.5 CM - HOLE 4.6 CM - THICKNESS 0.6 CM From a German collection

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BI DISC

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Description: 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: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/a-very-rare-and-unusually-large-dark-5181913-details.aspx?from=salesummery&intObjectID=5181913&sid=01fa09ca-ecd9-44ba-8b94-2109b82ac9d4 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

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AXE

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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. 玉钺 -新石器時代晚期,公元前2500-2000 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

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PAIR OF SMALL DISCS

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Description: Jade. China, Late Neolithic period, early Bronze age, c.2500-2000 BC Pair of small discs in completely altered jade: the mottled stone is strongly weathered and the colour chalky white, with darker black spots and veins. The smaller of the two discs is more brownish in colour, probably because of a higher content of inclusions in the jade. Both discs are polished, with softened borders: the hole is straight with some faint traces of tool marks on the wall. A disc with similar alteration, part of the Robert H. Ellsworth collection, was auctioned at Christie's New York on 19 March 2015, Sale 11420, Lot 479: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/an-altered-buff-colored-opaque-jade-bi-disc-5876536-details.aspx?from=salesummery&intObjectID=5876536&sid=57355e3a-1ea9-4a96-81a9-8feba9d64467 Still from the Ellsworth collection is a group of seven small discs in jade with a similar, extensive alteration of the jade (Lot 8210 of the same sale): https://onlineonly.christies.com/s/collection-robert-hatfield-ellsworth-volume-vii-chinese-works-art-online/group-seven-mottled-buff-colored-jade-disc-shaped-beads-8210/14455 A similar creamy gray-coloured bi disc is in the Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop (object number 1943.50.576), published in M. Loehr and L. G. Fitzgerald Huber, Ancient Chinese Jades, Cambridge 1975 n.89 http://www.harvardartmuseums.org/collections/object/204611?position=0 一雙玉璧 - 新石器時代晚期, 青铜器時代早期, 公元前2500-2000 直径 9.9 - 9.8 厘米; 孔径 2.4 - 2.8 厘米; 密 0.5 厘米 DIAMETER 9.9 AND 9.8 CM - HOLE 2.4 AND 2.8 CM - THICKNESS 0.5 CM From an Italian collection

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CEREMONIAL NOTCHED AXE

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Description: Jade. China, Bronze age, Erlitou period, c. 2000-1600 BC This axe has a very unique form and looks like a combination between the shape of a disc with that of a notched axe. This peculiar type of ceremonial axe makes its appearance in the initial period of the Bronze age, represented by the remains of the Erlitou culture in Yanshi, Henan province, and then disappears from the repertory of jade forms with the end of the Shang dynasty. Its ceremonial rather than functional role is stressed by the exaggerated features, especially the dramatic faceted edge and the large hole. The regular notches carved on the sides are first documented in jade axes found in sites of the late Neolithic Longshan culture (c.2500-1700 BC), in Shandong province, from where their use was most likely transmitted to the Erlitou culture in Henan province. The axe is carved from a green variety of jade with heavy iron inclusions which create light-brown, red and yellowish nuances all over the surface of the axe. The hole has been drilled from both sides and the rim has been carefully polished, as the rest of the object. The workmanship, elongated shape and material suggest that this axe was probably crafted by some late Neolithic culture of North-west China, which copied the type elaborated at Erlitou. A similar axe from the D. David-Weill (1871-1952) collection has been auctioned at Sotheby's Paris on 16 December 2015, Lot 43: http://www.sothebys.com/fr/auctions/ecatalogue/2015/tresors-chine-ancienne-collection-david-david-weill-pf1537/lot.43.html Another comparable example is offered by a notched axe in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (object number EA1956.1578), which has however, an unusual rounded and not faceted edge: http://jameelcentre.ashmolean.org/collection/4/901/903 A number of similar axes excavated at Erlitou can be seen in the images posted on this Chinese blog: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_bcfc5aaa0102uwk3.html 玉戚 - 青銅時代, 二里头文化, 公元前1900-1600 长 13.3 厘米 - 宽 8.2 厘米 - 孔径 3.4 厘米 LENGTH 13.3 CM - WIDTH 8.2 CM - HOLE 3.4 CM From an Italian collection

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CARVING IN THE SHAPE OF A BIRD

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Description: Jade. China, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1200 BC This small, flat pendant carved from a pale green, translucent jade is shaped like a standing bird in profile, with a modern gold mounting to wear it suspended on a chain. The contour line follows and stresses the main features of the bird, which is represented in quite a naturalistic manner: the head with the round, big eyes is slightly tilted upwards and the clawed paws are serrated as if the bird was perched on something. The tip of the short beak turns down at a straight angle, forming a hole for suspension: the movement of the beak is mirrored in the pointed tail which raises up at the opposite end of the pendant. The wings, closed and serrated to the body, are highlighted by lines and hooked, squared scrolls. The bird, which may represent an owl, is also provided with a tuft of plumes or a crest, protruding from the back of the head. Carvings like this one were very popular at the end of the Shang dynasty (c.1600-1050 BC): many jades shaped like birds in different postures and with different features have been discovered in 1976 in the intact tomb of Lady Fu Hao, who was one of the consorts of the Shang king, Wu Ding, and who lived near the end of the dynasty (c.1200 BC) during the so-called "Anyang phase", from the name of the last Shang capital and where Fu Hao's tomb has been excavated. In terms of iconography and style the carving is fully consistent with late Shang jades, including the raised lines which are used to stress features of the bird: the relief effect was obtained by grinding away the jade on the sides of the lines, so that they appear as raised. This technique is seen on many jades excavated from Fu Hao's tomb and it was likely derived from a similar technique employed earlier on by the Shijiahe culture (c.2500-2000 BC), centered on the middle Yangzi river region, in Hubei province. This pendant has an exact counterpart in a similar bird-shaped jade which is part of the collections of the Shanghai Museum and on display in the 'Jade gallery'. 鳥形玉饰 - 商代晚期, 公元前 1200 高 5.9 厘米 - 宽4.3厘米 HEIGHT 5.9 CM - WIDTH 4.3 CM From a German collection

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PAIR OF COLLARED YUAN RINGS

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Description: Jade. China, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1200 BC The two collared rings in the first picture bear resemblance with those excavated at Sanxingdui, Guanghan, Sichuan province. Collared rings form a particularly category attested in the jade repertory of ancient China mostly during the late Shang period. Several examples have been unearthed in the tombs of Fu Hao, at Anyang, Henan province (c. 1200 BC), in the Shang period sites of Dayangzhou, Xing'an, Jiangxi province and Sanxingdui, Guanghan, Sichuan, and additional sites in Henan and Hunan provinces. It is however possible that these peculiar ornaments were created in the southern regions and then imported to the metropolitan centres of Shang China: their 'foreign' origin may explain why these collared rings disappeared from the jade repertory of shapes with the demise of the Shang dynasty. It is not clear how these ornaments were used, though there is evidence that they, at least in some areas, were used as bracelets: S. Howard Hansford, Chinese carved jades, London 1968, plate 9a, has the picture of a burial excavated in 1953 at Gua Cha, Kelantan, Malaya, with the skeleton wearing on the forearm one collared ring. However, since the central opening is rather small, usually in the average of 5 to 7 cm, such rings were probably inserted on the wrist when the individual was at an infant age, so that the person grew with this ornament on the arm. It is also possible that these ornaments were fashioned in other materials, such as clay or shell, and that jade became the standard medium in the late Shang period. The vast majority of known collared rings belong in fact to this period. They also usually come in two types: plain, as those presented in these lots, and with tiny grooves incised on the surface of the ring. Sometimes, as in examples from Shang tombs, their dimensions are larger so that they look like collared discs. Several collared rings of different sizes and shapes found in the tomb of Fu Hao (d. circa 1200 B.C.), are illustrated in Yinxu Fu Hao mu 殷墟妇好墓 (Tomb of Lady Hao at Yinxu in Anyang), Beijing, 1980, pls. 87-94. For an example of collared ring excavated further south, in Yunnan province, from tomb M18 of the Jiangchuan Lijiashan site, see picture at: http://www.jmyibo.com/news/201106/1735.html At this page a considerable number of images of collared rings excavated from various sites and of different periods: http://www.360doc.com/content/16/0609/15/12597261_566295059.shtml 一雙有领玉瑗 - 商代晚期, 公元前 1200 直径 9.1 - 8 厘米; 高 1.3 - 1.1 厘米; 孔径 5.2 - 5.5 厘米 DIAMETER 9.1 AND 8 CM - HEIGHT: 1.3 AND 1.1 CM - HOLE 5.2 AND 5.5 CM From a German collection

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PAIR OF COLLARED YUAN RINGS

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Description: Jade. China, Late Shang dynasty, c. 1200 BC These two collared rings are carved in two types of jade which are rather different from that used for the similar ornaments presented in the previous Lot. The smaller ring is in fact worked from an opaque green variety of jade with white patches due to the alteration of the material. The jade of the larger one is strongly weathered instead and has taken a chalky white patina with bluish and reddish patches underneath. This type of jade is similar to that used to carve the items unearthed at the Jinsha site, Sichuan Province, dated to c.1200 to 650 BC and where many collared rings were also found. A section of the collar and of the ring shows signs of repair, while the smaller disc is chipped along the border. A collared ring similar to the larger one is in the collection of the National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan (object number 89-00042): it is carved from a partly discoloured, mottled yellow-tan jade and 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.17. Compare also a similar flanged bracelet from the Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987) collection auctioned at Christie's New York on 18 March 2009, Sale 2268, Lot 269: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/jewelry/an-unusual-cloudy-grey-opaque-jade-flanged-5181905-details.aspx?from=salesummery&intObjectID=5181905&sid=c8068c1f-3098-4ec7-8e08-af3d3ca741d2 一雙有领玉瑗 - 商代晚期, 公元前 1200 直径 10.2 - 8.4 厘米; 高 2.3 - 1 厘米; 孔径 5.8 - 5.5 厘米 DIAMETER 10.2 AND 8.4 CM - HEIGHT: 2.3 AND 1 CM - INNER DIAMETER 5.8 AND 5.5 CM From a German collection

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HUANG PENDANT WITH DRAGONS AND HUMAN HEADS

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Description: Jade. China, Late Western Zhou period, 9th century BC This huang or arched-shaped pendant offers a good example of the level reached by the jade carving tradition at the end of the Western Zhou period. The ornament is carved from a very good quality of green jade with no major inclusions, so that the colour is even: the only exception are the whitish patches scattered here and there and the ivory-coloured areas near the edges, where the stone has altered during burial. Both sides are incised with the same pattern: two stylized and coiled dragons with big heads carved near the edges, coupled with two human heads engraved as mirror images on the sides of the central axis. The pattern is more clearly seen when the huang is oriented with the extremities pointing up: in this case, the indentations carved on the border and at the edges become consistent element of the dragons' heads: the short tips look like horns while the v-shaped projections on the short sides recall a stylized crest. The pattern is rendered through double incised lines, which give more emphasis to the motifs: the jade has also been painstakingly abraded around certain details - the eyes of the figures, the scrolls of the dragons' snouts and the ears of the human faces - so that the motif appear more vivid and as in low relief, especially when the light hits the surface of the jade at certain angles. A number of regularly spaced cut-outs help to visually differentiate the motifs and emphasize the outline of the dragons and human mouths. A fault line running vertically through the head of a dragon is carved on one side of the huang and near one edge: it was probably created by mistake during the initial cutting and shaping of the ornament. It is at the end of the Western Zhou and during the transition to the following "Spring and Autumn" period (770-475 BC), as the first half of the Eastern Zhou rule is known, that the openwork technique started to be used with increased frequency on carved jades. Examples from the archaeological records of huang pendants worked in openwork are offered by the jades found in the richly furnished tombs of the marquises of the Jin state and excavated at Tianma-Qucun, Beizhao, Quwo, Shanxi province. Particularly relevant is the large pectoral discovered in tomb M31 of this site: it is formed by six huang alternated with chain of beads and three of the arched pendants are carved in openwork. Further examples have come to the light from the tombs excavated in 2005 and 2006 at Yangshe village, Shicun, still in Quwo county, Shanxi province, which have yielded jades worked in openwork, including huang pendants. The archaeological report, with pictures of some of the excavated objects, can be read at this link: http://www.kaogu.cn/uploads/soft/Chinese%20Archaeology/10/Yangshe%20Cemetery%20of%20the%20Jin%20Marquis%20in%20Quwo,Shanxi.pdf The closest comparable example from private collections is a very similar huang pendant carved with the same pattern of dragons and human heads and cut-outs, in the Aurora Foundation collection (Taiwan and China, with its own museum in the city of Shanghai), image at this link: http://www.aurora.com.cn/ENT/monthly/unitDetail.do?monthly_story_id=1129554554358950 人龙纹玉璜- 西周晚期, 公元前9世紀 宽 14.3 厘米 WIDTH 14.3 CM From a German collection

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BARREL-SHAPED BEAD

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Description: Jade. China, Eastern Zhou, 4th - 3rd century BC This second bead, slightly later in date than the previous one, is shaped like an elongated barrel and it is carved from a very nice quality of semi-translucent green jade with some light brown patches at the extremities of the bead. The centre is decorated with two animal masks which recall the taotie face motif often cast on bronzes of the Shang dynasty (c.1600-1050 BC). Above and below the masks there are three rows of small bosses linked with thin, incised lines: this pattern is mostly seen on Eastern Zhou jades of high quality and found in burials of top ranking aristocrats. The extremities are then decorated with two narrow bands filled with incised, slanting and parallel lines. A small suspension hole is drilled throughout the length of the bead and the whole decoration is in low relief. A similar barrel-shaped bead with narrower extremities and decorated with incised linked spirals is in the Freer/Sackler galleries, accession number S1987.558, height 3 cm: http://www.asia.si.edu/collections/edan/object.php?q=fsg_S1987.558 Compare also a late Eastern Zhou bead from Gallery Zacke, carved in white jade and of slightly different shape, decorated in the centre with the same pattern of linked scrolls and with two animal mask at the ends: http://www.zacke.at/en/collection/14670/antique-and-archaic-jades-exhibition-2010/item/5935/kunsthandwerk-ostasiatischer-kulturkreis-bead A necklace composed of tubular, conical and barrel-shaped beads was discovered in an Eastern Zhou tomb at the ancient capital city of the Lu state, Qufu county, Shandong province: http://www.hnmuseum.com/hnmuseum/learning/Lesson003/chapter2_2.html 玉坠 - 东周, 公元前5世紀-前4世紀 高 5.1 厘米; 宽 1.8 厘米 HEIGHT 5.1 CM - WIDTH 1.8 CM From a German collection

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CONICAL BEAD

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Description: Jade. China, Eastern Zhou, 5th century BC During the Eastern Zhou period, beads like this and the following one were strung together with other jades - discs, rings and huang or arched pendants - to make up elaborate necklaces worn by members of the nobility. This bead has a cone-like profile, with one side shorter than the other. It is rather thick with a hole drilled throughout and it is carved in a variety of light-green, semi-translucent jade with black speckles and, where the iron deposits are more consistent, a brown strip running vertically. The surface is decorated with an incised pattern in low relief of fat c-shaped scrolls organized in nine over-imposed registers: the scrolls are interspersed with etched areas and some of them have incised circles, suggesting the eyes of stylized dragons. This type of pattern is typical of 5th century Eastern Zhou jades, as exemplified by the style of the jades found in the tomb of the Marquis Yi of the Zeng state, dated after 433 BC. Compare a similar, slightly taller bead in the Joseph Hotung collection published in Jessica Rawson, Chinese Jade. From the Neolithic to the Qing, London 1995, no.17:17 (5.3x2.8 cm) Another comparable example is in the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, from the Avery Brundage collection 6.3x4.1 cm, object number B60J589: http://searchcollection.asianart.org/view/objects/asitem/search@/3?t:state:flow=a5a13e81-cc18-4828-96b4-e07edc70186e A third similar bead from the A. W. Bahr (1877-1959) and Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987) collections was auctioned at Christie's New York on 14 September 2009, Sale 2389, Lot 59: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/a-rare-pale-greenish-white-jade-bead-eastern-5231919-details.aspx?from=salesummery&intObjectID=5231919&sid=7993c8de-8609-4ab7-a899-34f2e1072c1a 玉坠 - 东周, 公元前5世紀 高 4.8 厘米; 宽 1.3 厘米 HEIGHT 4.8 CM - WIDTH 1.3 CM From a German collection

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JADE PLAQUE DECORATED WITH A BIRD

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Description: Jade. China, Middle to late Western Zhou period, 10th-9th century BC Small plaque of slightly arched shape decorated on both sides with the image of a crested and long-tailed standing bird in profile. The plaque, probably re-carved from a section of a broken ring, as suggested by its arched profile, has its border decorated on three sides with regular crenellations: a hole for suspension is drilled near the top, in the crest of the bird, with a gold ring attached in modern times. The bird is depicted in an almost calligraphic style, with double thin incised lines marking the contour of the body and of the long, elaborate tail: this twists and disappears behind the body, to re-emerge over the head and terminates in a tip in front of the bird's curved and pointed beak. A long crest or a tuff of plumes protrudes from the head: the body of the bird is decorated with rounded and squared scrolls. This type of plumed bird is common on jades of the middle to late Western Zhou period: sometimes below the claws of the bird is engraved a stylized coiled dragon. Extensive remains of soil are encrusted within the lines incised on the surface. Two similar plaques decorated with the same image and indentations on the border and from the Grenville L. Winthrop (1864-1943) collection are now part of the Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum collections, accession numbers 1943.50.135 and 1943.50.232. The second of the two plaques has an arched profile, as the present lot. The plaques can be seen here: http://www.harvardartmuseums.org/collections/object/205144?position=5 http://www.harvardartmuseums.org/collections/object/204960?position=36 Further comparative examples are provided by two jade plaques decorated with the same plumed bird in the Freer/Sackler galleries, Washington, D.C., accession numbers RLS1997.48.3671 and S1987.534, images at: http://www.asia.si.edu/collections/edan/object.php?q=fsg_RLS1997.48.3671 http://www.asia.si.edu/collections/edan/object.php?q=fsg_S1987.534 凤纹玉饰片 - 西周晚期, 公元前10世紀-前9世紀 高7.3 厘米;宽 4.5 厘米 HEIGHT 7.6 CM - WIDTH 4.5 CM From a German collection

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RING WITH INCISED SPIRALS

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Description: Jade. China, Eastern Zhou, 4th-3rd century BC Small rings like this one were used in the Eastern Zhou period as elements of pendants made of several different jades, often in combination with beads such as those illustrated in other Lots of this auction. The decoration consists in clearly defined small spirals in relief with the contour marked through incised lines, arranged in regular rows: this type of motif is the most frequent pattern on discs and rings of the 3rd - 4th centuries BC and continues on the jades carved during the Western Han period (206 a.C. - AD 9). Though rich in inclusions, the light grey and semi-translucent jade is very fine, though the colour is mostly concealed by extensive surface alteration which creates the effect of a cloudy sky. Two natural fissures in the jade which run across the body of the ring in two different points are highlighted by the oxidised iron, which creates shades of grey and black around the cracks. Compare a ring of 4.6 cm in diameter and decorated with a similar though more coarsely executed pattern in the Freer/Sackler galleries, Washington, D.C. (object number S1987.709): http://www.asia.si.edu/collections/edan/object.php?q=fsg_S1987.709 玉谷纹瑗 - 东周, 公元前4世纪-前3世纪 直径 5.3厘米 DIAMETER 5.3 CM From a German collection

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JADE RING WITH CARVED PATTERN

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Description: Jade. China, Early Western Han period, 2nd century BC As is the case for similar items of the Eastern Zhou period, this early Han ornamental ring was not used in isolation but combined with other jades to form composite pendants. Both sides are decorated with dense rows of modelled and flattened knobs, slightly raised above the surface. The pattern is created by carving on the surface of the jade parallel grooves which intersect at an acute angle to form a regular grid: the jade around the bosses is then abraded and polished. The pattern, which fills entirely the sides of the ring, is delimited by two plain bands which run along the border of the central hole and of the rim. This type of pattern represents the last stage in the evolution of the scrolls incised or worked in low relief on Eastern Zhou discs and rings . The jade is green in colour and weathered. A number of discs decorated with the same pattern, from the Edward and Louise B. Sonneschein collection and now in The Art Institute, Chicago, were published by A. Salmony, Archaic Chinese Jades, Chicago 1952, pl.68. 玉环 - 西汉早期, 公元前2世紀 直径 8.7 厘米; 孔径 2.6 厘米; 密 0.4 厘米 DIAMETER 8.7 CM - HOLE 2.6 CM - THICKNESS 0.4 CM From a German collection

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JADE RING DECORATED WITH THE 'TWISTED ROPE' PATTERN

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Description: Jade. China, Eastern Zhou, 4th - 3rd century BC This ornamental ring is decorated with a pattern known as 'twisted cord' motif, consisting in regular grooves carved on the body of the ornament and as if they radiate from the empty centre. The name of this peculiar pattern is due to the fact that the motif looks as if a rope or a bunch of 'silk threads', as it is called in Chinese, has been wrapped around a ring. These ornaments were used as components of pendants, suspended together with other jades fastened through ropes or bundles of silk. Two lacquer-painted wooden figurines wearing pendants that include also jade rings with the twisted rope pattern have been excavated from a 4th century BC tomb of the Chu culture at Xinyang, Henan province. This particular motif and how it was made with such precision on jades of the 6th to 2nd century BC, was the subject of a scientific research conducted by Peter J. Lu in his article, "Early precision compound machine from ancient China" (Science 304, 2004): in his paper, Liu argues that the "twisted rope pattern" follows a precise mathematical form described by the spiral of Archimedes. Such an accurate drafting of the pattern would have required a precision compound machine at such an early date: the author proposes a basic mechanical design which is based only upon technologies known to have existed at that time. (link to the article: http://www.peterlu.org/content/early-precision-compound-machines). Similar rings are in the National Museum of China, Beijing (diam. 7.5 cm); in the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, The Avery Brundage collection (6.7 cm in diameter, object number B60J824); in the Freer/Sackler galleries, Washington, D.C. (accession number: F1939.10, diameter 7 cm); and in the Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop (object number 1943.50.612, diameter 7.5 cm). Images of comparative jades can be seen at the following links: http://www.chnmuseum.cn/Default.aspx?TabId=212&AntiqueLanguageID=3969&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1 http://searchcollection.asianart.org/view/objects/asitem/search@/18?t:state:flow=54d31c57-d489-4012-914b-db6d7693a6de http://www.asia.si.edu/collections/edan/object.php?q=fsg_F1939.10 http://www.harvardartmuseums.org/collections/object/204665?position=0 绞丝纹玉环 -战国, 公元前4世纪-前3世纪; 直径 8.4 DIAMETER 8.4 CM From a German collection

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PECTORAL WITH CARNELIAN BEADS, AGATE RINGS AND JUE SLIT-RINGS

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Description: Jade. China, Late Eastern Zhou, early Han period, 3rd - 2nd century BC This very elaborate and rather monumental pectoral is composed of eleven agate rings linked together by numerous beads in carnelian, plus eight loose jue or slit-rings in agate. However, the reconstruction of the ornament, the spacing and positioning of the various elements is conjectural and the photographs aim at providing only a visual impression of how these different elements were eventually assembled together, without pretending to be philologically correct. As the archaeological records suggest, it is highly probable instead that the agate rings and the carnelian beads were originally used to create several pendants and not just one single, large ornament as suggested by the hypothetical reconstruction. Eastern Zhou ornaments formed by beads and elements carved in jade, agate or rock-crystal are in fact simpler when compared to the Western Zhou composite pectorals from which they derive. In addition, large numbers of agate, turquoise and carnelian beads are found more often in late Western Zhou princely burials, such as those excavated at Tianma-Qucun, Beizhao, Quwo, Shanxi province: on the contrary, they become rarer or totally absent in the pendants and pectorals excavated from Eastern Zhou and early Western Han dynasty tombs. Faceted agate and rock-crystal rings were instead preferred and commonly used during these later periods, so it is possible that the complex ornament presented here may actually be formed by items belonging to different, though close, chronological periods. Beads worked in various shapes were used in massive amounts in late Western Zhou burials and not earlier than the 10th century BC: their almost sudden appearance in princely burials, their ample use over an area stretching from west China to Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan and Hebei provinces, the variety of the beads shapes and materials are all elements suggesting that the fashion for elaborate necklaces and pectorals was influenced by Western, non-Zhou people. For a thorough discussion of the late Western Zhou complex ornaments and use of carnelian beads, see J. Rawson, "Ordering the Exotic. Ritual Practices in the Late Western and Early Eastern Zhou", Artibus Asiae, vol.73:1, 2013, pp.5-76. A late Western Zhou jade, agate and quartz pectoral ornament was recently presented by J.J. Lally & Co., New York, in their exhibition Ancient Chinese Jade. From the Neolithic to the Han, April 2016, and it is reproduced in the accompanying catalogue with no.27. In a former exhibition held in 1993, the same gallery presented instead a group of nine agate rings dated to the latter part of the Eastern Zhou period: published in J.J. Lally & Co., Chinese Archaic Jades and Bronzes from the Estate of Professor Max Loehr and Others, New York 1993, catalogue number 86. This composite ornament was originally acquired by its present owner from S. Bernstein & Co., San Francisco, California. 红玛瑙珠, 玛瑙环, 玛瑙 玦串饰串饰 -东周 全面长 65 厘米 OVERALL LENGTH 65 CM From a German collection

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PAIR OF PLAQUES IN WHITE JADE IN THE STYLE OF THE STEPPE

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Description: Jade. China, Early Western Han period, 2nd - 1st century BC This magnificent pair of rectangular plaques carved in pure white jade reflects the taste for the exotic which was highly popular in early Western Han China, when the influence of the Steppe animal art was strong on the jades carved in that period. The two plaques are in fact decorated in low relief with a mirror image of two addorsed and beaked ungulates with the hindquarters rotated by 180°: the tail of the animals are shaped as raptor's heads. This taste for composite animals which are often represented as twisted in unnatural postures is typical of the Steppe art and was introduced into China from the Northern territories inhabited by semi-nomadic tribes during the Eastern Zhou period: at the beginning of the Han dynasty, this peculiar style and its rich imagery was amply used on carved jades of the period. This pair of plaques -which, on the back, are provided with two loops each to secure the ornaments on a belt- represent a rare case of imitation in jade of accessories which were more commonly cast instead in metal. The motif of the addorsed ungulates is in fact found on metal plaques excavated from sites in Liaoning and Ningxia provinces: these plaques were probably produced in China and then traded or exchanged with the northern populations of the steppe area. Plaques in jade carved after metal models were on the contrary most likely created for the members of the Chinese nobility who had a strong fascination for these motifs of foreign origin. For a thorough discussion of this type of plaques, see J. Rawson, Chinese jade. From the Neolithic to the Qing, London, 1995, pp.308-313, where the author examines examples of similar jades from the collection of Joseph Hotung. The metal prototypes from which these two plaques derive are illustrated in E. Bunker, Nomadic art of the Eastern Eurasian Steppes. The Eugene V. Thaw and other New York collections, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 2002, pp.107-108, catalogue number 76. Another example of jade plaques carved in the steppe animal style after metal models is offered by a pair in the collection of Samuel and Myrna Myers: the plaques are published in F. Salviati, section 'Radiant Stones' of the volume Two Americans in Paris. The quest for Asian art, Lienart, Paris 2016, no.156. 一雙长方形白玉饰 -西汉早期, 公元前2世紀 长 8 厘米; 高 4.2 厘米 LENGTH 8 CM - WIDTH 4.2 CM From a German collection

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