Jade. China, Western Zhou, 10th-9th century BC
Of circular form and pierced with a hole, finely incised to both sides with two stylized confronting phoenixes divided by the slit through the edge. The semi-translucent stone is of a white tone with extensive black shading showing white marbling.
Related jade slit discs are more commonly decorated in simpler designs. See for example, one from the mid Spring and Autumn period, carved to one side with C-scrolls, and the other side undecorated, unearthed from a tomb in Zhechuan county, Henan province in 1978, illustrated in Yang Boda, Zhongguo yuqi quanji [Complete collection of Chinese jades], vol. 1, Shijiazhuang, 2005, no. 24; a pair decorated with S-scrolls and commas, formerly in the collection of A.W. Bahr and Arthur M. Sackler, now in the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, acc. no. S1987.497-498; and another pair carved with an abstract dragon design, in the Kwan Collection, exhibited in Chinese Archaic Jades from the Kwan Collection, Art Gallery The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1994, cat. no. 145. Compare also a related but slightly smaller and later slit ring dated to the Eastern Zhou dynasty at Sotheby’s New York in Junkunc: Arts of Ancient China II on 10 September 2019, lot 202, sold for USD 300,000.
DIAMETER 6.3 cm
Provenance: Private Collection of Irene and Wolfgang Zacke.
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