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Jade. China, early Western Han dynasty, 2nd century BC

Finely carved as a stylized dragon forming an arch, with incised eyes and barbels as well as a pierced mouth, the body neatly carved in relief with comma-spirals (guwen), above a stylized phoenix in openwork. The semi-translucent stone of a yellowish-green tone with brown and russet shadings and inclusions as well as white calcification.

This type of arched dragon-shaped pendant represents an early Western Han re-interpretation of previous Eastern Zhou pendants shaped as dragons with elongated bodies that are known as chongya. The earliest occurrence of this new form is attested amongst the jades recovered from the tombs of the Chu kings located in the surroundings of the present-day city of Xuzhou, illustrated in the exhibition catalogue by James C.S. Lin (ed.), The Search for Immortality. Tomb Treasures of Han China, Cambridge 2012, no. 68. Compare also three similar jades published in F. Salviati, 4000 Years of Chinese Archaic Jades, Edition Zacke, Vienna 2017, nos. 278-280.

LENGTH 12 cm, HEIGHT 3.8 cm

Provenance: Collection of Prof. Filippo Salviati.

Buy now for €6,200


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