This jade is published in Filippo Salviati 4000 YEARS OF CHINESE ARCHAIC JADES Edition Zacke, Vienna 2017, no. 13
玉猪龍- 新石器時代晚期, 紅山文化, 公元前35世紀-前30世紀
One of the most typical categories of Hongshan ornaments is definitively represented by pendants carved in the shape of coiled ‘dragons’ or mythical creatures. The overall shape of the ornament recalls the original rounded shape of the pebble out of which the ornament was carved. With the exception of the animal’s head which protrudes from the contour of the stone, the pendant is plain and smoothed down, providing a warm feeling when the jade is handled and worn. The head of the animal, separated from the rest of the body by a deep cut in the stone, terminates just before the inner central perforation which is drilled from both sides of the stone and finely polished. The cut stands for the mouth of the animal, whereas the lines carved just above the incision suggest the snout. The round, bulging eyes are highlighted and encircled by a large groove, while the ears of the mythical creature emerge slightly from the jade: a small ridge between the ears marks the animal’s forehead. An additional conical perforation on the back, just below the head, serves as the suspension hole. The jade, which is highly polished and smooth, is light green and translucent, with only a few brownish patches generated by the iron inclusions.
Pendants worked in the shape of coiled dragons are attested in several Hongshan sites: see those reproduced in Liaoning Archaeological Institute, Niuheliang Hongshan wenhua yizhi yu yuqi jingcui (A short presentation of the Niuheliang archaeological site, Hongshan culture and its jades), Beijing 1997, nos. 1, 2 and 5.
Provenance: From an Austrian private collection