This jade is published in Filippo Salviati 4000 YEARS OF CHINESE ARCHAIC JADES Edition Zacke, Vienna 2017, no. 188
龍頭玉璜- 東周, 春秋, 公元前6世紀-前5世紀
This elegantly curved huang in the arch of a quarter circle and exquisitely effective white-green color tone of the jade, is regarded as very “noble“. Both ends of the huang are muscular-angular displaying heads of archaic kui dragons with serrated contours. The small eyes are depicted as little ovals, the mouth with grommets. Further suggested are manes and whisker tips. Both sides offer deep relief engraved with designs popular at that time: “C” and “S” with twisted, animated, hook-shaped ends as well as spirals and diversely shaped areas with lattice designs. Some age characteristics due to iron content (blackish zones) as well as corrosion on the edges. White color with delicate green tone is seen in backlighting.
The motif engraved is stylistically and iconographically relatable to the patterns used to decorate jades in the Chu culture area: see for example a disc unearthed at Xujialing, Xichuan County, Henan Province reproduced in S. Lee (ed.), China 5000 Years. Innovation and Transformation in the Arts, New York 1998, no. 15, decorated with the same motifs of dragons, curls and etched lines, but more coarsely executed. Other examples of similar design are offered by a disc and other jades discovered in the Chu culture Xiongjia tomb at Zhangchang village, Chuandian town, Jingzhou, Hubei Province, decorated with the same patterns. For some small plaques carved with similar motifs using the same techniques, see those in The Harvard Art Museums (acc. no. 1943.50.338 a-c) and one in The Art Institute, Chicago (acc. no. 1950.695)
Provenance: From an old Austrian-Chinese private collection and has been acquired before 1980