Jade. China, Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period, 5th-3rd century BC
Of flattened, arched, and tapering form, finely carved in openwork as a horned and winged dragon, the body neatly incised with subtle scroll and fine lines. The translucent stone of a pale green tone with darker specks.
This curved dragon pendant, xi, is also referred to as a 'knot opener' or 'claw-shaped pendant'. The elongated silhouette of the dragon, with the head turned backwards and the mouth open toward the wing, matches that of a pair of similar but phoenix-shaped xi discovered in 1974 in a Western Han tomb at Dabaotai, Beijing. See also a similar dragon-shaped xi discovered in 1977 in a Western Han tomb near Yangzhou, Jiangsu, illustrated in Han Guangling guo yuqi (Jade Wares of Guangling, Han Dynasty), Beijing 2003, no. 68.
Auction comparison: Compare a related pale green jade dragon xi dated to the Eastern Zhou dynasty at Sotheby’s in Junkunc: Arts of Ancient China on 19 March 2019, lot 101 (sold for USD 30,000). Compare a related jade dragon xi dated to the Warring States period at Christie’s Hong Kong in Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art on 30 November 2016, lot 3207 (sold for HKD 350,000).
LENGTH 10.3 cm
Provenance: Private collection of Professor Filippo Salviati.
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