This jade is published in Filippo Salviati 4000 YEARS OF CHINESE ARCHAIC JADES Edition Zacke, Vienna 2017, no. 86
鉞形玉佩- 新石器時代晚期, 大汶口文化, 公元前3000-2000
A rare jade amulet in the shape of an axe - reflects the layering of the stone, which must have been carefully calculated by the carver. Cutting across the series of layers there is a pattern resembling symmetrical waves. The upper edge is gently curved. The central hole is drilled from one side and carefully levelled, and the whole surface on both sides is finely polished. These rare types of simple axes made of unusual stones are found in the Dawenkou and Liangzhu periods.
Early societies that made use of jade during the late Neolithic period and the transition to the Bronze Age include the Dawenkou culture (c. 4500-2500 BC), with sites mostly distributed in Shandong province, and the Longshan culture (c. 2600- 1900 BC), which was spread over a larger area, with regional differentiations in Shanxi (Taosi culture), Henan and Shaanxi provinces. The jades found in their sites are mostly derived from types developed by the two neighbouring and major jade-using cultures, Hongshan in the north and Liangzhu in the south. Small axe-shaped ornaments, such as this jade here, can also be assigned to these Neolithic cultures and continued to be made in the following Bronze Age.
Provenance: From the collection of the German palaeoanthropologist G. H. Ralph von Koenigswald (1902 - 1982), acquired around 1939 in Beijing