This highly polished square cong 琮has a clearly defined, geometric form with straight sides and two short collars that protrude from the top and bottom ends. The angles are rather sharp and lend an almost austere quality to the carving. Although the central hole is much more cylindrical, with a more even thickness, there is some flatness on the external area of the collar, where it blends into the straight sides of the cong. The internal core, not as smooth as the polished exterior, has a series of easily discernible grooves: these are the tool marks that were left on the inside when the core of the cong was drilled and removed. The jade is mostly mottled brown and white, except for one side which is much whiter with scattered brown spots that create a “leopard-skin” effect. Literature comparison/Archaeological sites: A cong of similar shape carved in a variety of jade that is comparable to the present one is published in F. Salviati, 4000 Years of Chinese Archaic Jades, Vienna 2017, no.102.
All jades in this catalogue have been professionally examined, authenticated and described by Prof. Fillipo Salviati. Professor Salviati teaches Chinese and Korean art at Sapienza University in Rome, in the Italian Institute of Oriental Studies. He is a world expert on archaic Chinese jades, having released multiple publications and being cited by renowned auction houses such as Sotheby’s.