This jade is published in Filippo Salviati 4000 YEARS OF CHINESE ARCHAIC JADES Edition Zacke, Vienna 2017, no. 299
虎形玉佩- 西漢早期, 公元前3世紀-前2世紀
Large plaques shaped as felines in profile and representing tigers were made in jade from the last phase of the Warring States period into the early years of the following Han dynasty. As described at length by Jessica Rawson (“Chinese Jade”, pp. 259-262) these jade plaques, which derive from earlier and smaller pendants fashioned as tigers, were produced as early as the 8th century BC. The tiger is represented in profile and the animal almost looks as if it is leaping forward, an impression stressed by the stretched body, the gentle but strongly pronounced curve of the back and by the elongated head and wide-open jaws. The central portion of the tiger’s body is decorated with small incised spirals, while the haunches are ornamented with comma-shaped patterns filled with finely etched, striated lines. Additional volutes and linear motifs are incised on other parts of the animal’s body. The details enriching this plaque, such as the striated bands near the mouth and rear limbs or the etched pattern marking the front legs, are also more roughly executed. The plaque is provided with a suspension hole drilled at the top centre and there are a number of cutouts concentrated in the bottom part of the object. These openings suggest the possibility that additional jades could have been hung from the plaque, as demonstrated by a similar jade excavated from the richly furnished tomb of Zhao Mo, king of the southern kingdom of Nanyue, in present-day Guangzhou. The jade is semi-translucent and of a pale, green colour. A great deal of the surface has turned white due to natural alterations which have affected the jade during the prolonged burial. A similar plaque was published in Gallery Zacke, Vol. IV, October-November 2012, entry no. 30, where additional references to the plaque excavated from the tomb of the King of Nanyue can be found.
Provenance: From an old Austrian-Hungarian collection