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    Sale 7720

    Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Including Export Art

    12 May 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 52

    A VERY RARE GREEN JADE HOOF-SHAPED ORNAMENT

    LATE NEOLITHIC PERIOD, HONGSHAN CULTURE, CIRCA 3500-2500 BC

    Price Realised  

    A VERY RARE GREEN JADE HOOF-SHAPED ORNAMENT
    LATE NEOLITHIC PERIOD, HONGSHAN CULTURE, CIRCA 3500-2500 BC
    The cylindrical ornament of oval section and flaring slightly towards the top, the top edge sloping downwards at the front, the semi-translucent stone of olive-green tone with veins of buff mottling
    3¾ in. (10 cm.) high, box


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    This jade ornament belongs to one of the major categories of Hongshan jade. Although we do not know the exact function of such a piece, its importance is obvious from two features: firstly, it is relatively much larger than other Hongshan jade pieces, and would require a substantial piece of material; secondly, it was placed direcly under the head of the person in the burial, and is only found in larger tombs, an indication of higher ranking. Because of its placement under the head, it has been suggested that the ornament could have been used to bind hair. The current example is in its original condition since excavation and has not been cut-down or re-fashioned. Several examples of varying sizes and proportion exist in museum collections or from excavation, such as the one in the British Museum, illustrated by Lawson and Michaelson in Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, The British Museum, London, 1995, no. 1:2, p. 115; two from the Winthrop Collection, illustrated by Loehr in Ancient Chinese Jades, Harvard University, Massachusetts, 1975, nos. 323 and 324, pp. 216-217; and an excavated example illustrated by Scott in Chinese Jades, Percival David Foundation, London, 1977, pl. 7, p. 33.

    Special Notice

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


    Literature

    S. Howard Hansford, Jade - Essence of Hills and Streams, Johannesburg, 1969, no. C26, p. 103