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    Sale 7621

    A Private English Collection of White Jade Carvings & Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Including Export Art

    4 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 107

    A RARE CELADON JADE 'OWL' ORNAMENT

    SHIJIAHE CULTURE, LATE NEOLITHIC PERIOD, CIRCA 2000 BC

    Price Realised  

    A RARE CELADON JADE 'OWL' ORNAMENT
    SHIJIAHE CULTURE, LATE NEOLITHIC PERIOD, CIRCA 2000 BC
    Of cylindrical shape tapering slightly towards the base, the stylised bird carved in fine raised lines with its wings gathered at the back, and its feet perched at the front, the details well rendered in shallow relief, the hooked beak drilled with a fastening hole, and a further hole drilled from one side above the base, the semi-translucent stone of pale green tone with some minor white flecks
    3 5/8 in. (9.2 cm.) long, box


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    Although the exact purposes of these rare jade ornaments are not known, it has been suggested that they might have been used as handles or even as the upper half of hairpins. There are several excavated examples to date, some from the Shijiahe Culture sites in Hubei, others in Shang tombs, such as the one in the tomb of Lady Fuhao (fig.1). It is believed that these pieces are dated to the late Neolithic period, so the Fuhao example would have been considered an antique object even during the Shang Dynasty. For two other examples excavated in the hoard of Shaanxi Shenmu Shimao, see An Appraisal of the National Treasures in the Shaanxi History Museum, Xian, 2006, no. 3, p. 24.

    Other examples in museum collections include one in the British Museum, illustrated by Rawson and Michaelson in Chinese Jade, British Museum, London, 1995, 11:2, p. 202; one in the Winthrop Collection, illustrated by Loehr and Huber in Ancient Chinese Jades, Harvard University, Massachusetts, 1975, no. 329, p. 220; and one in the Sackler Collection, J 722, 1249.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    C. T. Loo & Cie., Paris
    Baron and Baroness von Oertzen Collection


    Literature

    P. Pelliot, Jades Archaïques de Chine Appartenant á M. C. T. Loo, 1925, Pl. XXXVIII, no. 1

    S. Howard Hansford, Jade - Essence of Hills and Streams, Johannesburg, 1969, no. A54, p. 50