Jade. China, early Western Han, 2nd-1st century BC
The huang pendant is carved from a very translucent, pale green jade which almost appears like glass. The square-like indentations on the edge carved at the extremities of the ornaments are a highly stylized rendering of two dragon heads. The segmented sections on the present huang thus stand for the chin, mouth, snout, and horns of the fully rendered dragons. The contour of the ornament is marked by a plain band, while the entire surface of the jade is covered with a dense pattern of small hexagons in relief.
Similar pendants have been excavated from the early Western Han princely tombs at Shizishan Xuzhou, Jiangsu province; see James C.S. Lin (ed.), The Search for Immortality. Tomb Treasures of Han China, Cambridge 2012, no. 69. Compare a huang in the British Museum, illustrated in J. Rawson, Chinese Jade. From the Neolithic to the Qing, London 1999, no. 17:6, and another in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession no. 2001.665. See also the pair of huang published in F. Salviati, 4000 Years of Chinese Archaic Jades, Edition Zacke, Vienna 2017, no. 285. Compare also a related but larger huang (26.4 cm long) at Christie’s Hong Kong in Chinese Archaic Jades from the Yangdetang Collection on 29 November 2017, lot 2776, sold for HKD 162,500.
LENGTH 17.8 cm
Provenance: Collection of Prof. Filippo Salviati.
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