This jade is published in Filippo Salviati 4000 YEARS OF CHINESE ARCHAIC JADES Edition Zacke, Vienna 2017, no. 198
卷雲紋龍頭玉璜- 東周, 春秋, 公元前6世紀-前5世紀
This small refined pendant was not worn by itself, but rather as a connecting element in articulated necklaces and pectorals. It is carved out of a white, translucent jade with virtually no inclusions. The pattern, two dragon heads in profile placed at the extremities and a number of regularly spaced, fat curls filling up the rest of the surface, is carved in low relief on both sides. At the top centre of the jade, the curls transmute into two additional, addorsed dragon heads with upturned snouts. The segmented profile of the pendant stresses the physical features of the two lateral dragons, whose mouths are pierced with two suspension holes and further embellished with striated bands which mark the right and left edges of the ornament. A third suspension hole is drilled in the centre of the heart-shaped protuberance jetting out from the top section of the pendant. This protrusion is clearly differentiated from the rest of the pendant: it has a thinner section and its edge is smoothed down. The jade is of fine quality, translucent and white with no inclusions or alterations.
A famous pectoral with jade pendants and gold chains now in the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., illustrates how the suspension elements were arranged in composite pectorals: see Lawton, “Chinese Art of the Warring States Period”, pp.132-133. For a larger version of the present pendant, see the huang no. 31 published in Vol. IV of the series on Chinese jades, Gallery Zacke October-November 2012.
Provenance: From an old Austrian-Hungarian collection