Lot 22: HUANG PENDANT WITH DRAGONS AND HUMAN HEADS

Galerie Zacke Vienna

December 3, 2016
Vienna, Austria

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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
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".

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.

本書中的所有玉器都也出版在:"神秘的石头-私人收藏的新石器时代到汉代的玉器"作者:Filippo Salviati
Salviati教授是羅馬大學中國美術專家,世界上最出名的雕玉藝術專家之一。他的專業是商代一直到宋代的古玉。我會網上的古玉都可以方大,看的到最微小的細節,正如手工,年代顏色等。
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Shipping Terms: For domesticshipping, Galerie Zacke (hereinafter "t
he company") charges 15 to approx. 50 euros per item, depending on size an
d weight. These fees cover the
costs of packing and shipping respectively. For bulk
y or fragile items, postage fees
will be quotedupon request. For personal deliveries
abroad, postage fees will also be
quoteduponrequest. Following handover of the packag
ed item to the post office or to
another carrier (whose commissioning the customer s
hall agree to by submitting a
purchase order), the goods shall be transported at
the risk of the customer. Should
the customer so wish, the auctioned goods may be in
sured to the value of the
purchase price (highest bid and surcharge). Such in
surance shall cost 3% of the
purchase price. For purchase prices in excess of 350 euros per auction,
transportation insurance shall be arranged by the C
ompany automatically. Payments
due to the Company under the insurance contract sha
ll be credited to the customer
and the Company shall also be entitled to assign cl
aims under the insurance contract
to the customer, providing the terms of the insuran
ce contract do not prevent this. In
any case, the Company shall only be required to mak
e payment to the customer
specifically once payment has effectively been rece
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