Jade. China, Qijia Culture, c. 2200-1600 BC
This is another example of a larger, undecorated cong of the Qijia culture that totally lacks surface decoration. Carved from a completely different type of spinach colored jade this imposing cong has an almost perfect cubic shape, with only some slight variation in surface width on the collars. The stone presents many striations as well as a couple of areas where the jade is brownish.
The jade is polished and quite smooth, but not shiny, as is often the case with Qijia culture jades. The inside is rougher with tool marks left by the tubular drill used to extract the core.
From excavations, a similar, slightly shorter jade cong (7.6 cm high) of a paler green color was found in 1978 at Shanmenkou, near Xi’an, in Shaanxi province. Another comparable cong of the same size in green jade is published in Lally & Co., Chinese Archaic Jades and Bronzes, from the Estate of Professor Max Loehr and Others, New York 1993, no. 22. See also a related plain cong at Christie’s New York in The Collection of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth Part III - Chinese Works of Art: Qing Ceramics, Glass and Jade Carvings on 19 March 2015, lot 557 (sold for USD 17,500).
HEIGHT 11.6 cm, WIDTH 8.2 cm
Provenance: Collection of Prof. Filippo Salviati, acquired in Beijing in the early 2000s.
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