This jade is published in Filippo Salviati 4000 YEARS OF CHINESE ARCHAIC JADES Edition Zacke, Vienna 2017, no. 128
玉斧- 青銅器時代早期, 齊家文化, 公元前2200-1600
Slightly curved on all sides, stronger on blade. Very nice, effective grain with veins, light and dark areas, which are especially defined in the translucense, as well as strong reddish to yellowish color. Age characteristics with corrosion on the edges, especially in the area of the blade. These jade axes were manufactured by cultures located in central and north-western China, such as Qijia. The shape of this axe recalls that of the Dawenkou and Longshan culture axes, from which they derive: they are thin, with a pronounced rectangular, tabletshaped profile and the edges are smooth but not rounded. The hole to secure the axe onto the handle is drilled from one side only of the jade and the surface is polished. As for the bi discs and the cong tubes, the jade used by the cultures of the north-west is not uniform and the colour changes dramatically on the basis of the mineralogical composition of the jade whose main tone is usually yellowish or pale green. In any case, the carvers took advantage of the complexity of the material and skilfully created items of prestige with rich and variegated textures that were further enhanced by the translucency of the stone: the zigzagging white vein on the surface of this axe adds a further, dramatic effect to the light-coloured jade with brown markings. Actually, this blade is brilliant and resplendent when the light filters through.
Provenance: From an old Austrian-Hungarian collection