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    Sale 12171

    Dongxi Studio- Important Chinese Jade and Hardstone Carvings from a Distinguished Private Collection

    17 March 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 911

    A VERY RARE AND SUPERB PALE GREENISH-YELLOW JADE FIGURAL PENDANT

    WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY, 9TH-8TH CENTURY BC

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A VERY RARE AND SUPERB PALE GREENISH-YELLOW JADE FIGURAL PENDANT
    WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY, 9TH-8TH CENTURY BC
    The thin, flat plaque of curved outline is finely carved as a crouching humanoid figure shown in profile, the legs drawn up beneath the coiled dragon which forms the arms and trunk of the body, and the head with a distinctive profile and long, upswept hair that forms a backward-facing, S-shaped dragon beneath a small tab pierced with a suspension hole drilled from one side. Another small hole is drilled from one side through the legs. The translucent stone of off-white color has some tiny areas of opaque buff alteration, and some tiny surface accretions, including cinnabar. Together with Chinese Jade: Selected articles from Orientations 1983-1996, Hong Kong 1997.
    3 in. (7.6 cm.) high, box


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    Western Zhou pendants of this type, with their transformational humanoid and dragon motifs, evolved from Shang prototypes which depict a crouching human with bent arms framing the torso above the sharply bent legs, and wearing a headdress. Two such insignia/pendants of curved outline from the Shang dynasty tomb of Lady Fu Hao at Anyang are illustrated in The Jades from Yinxu, Beijing, 1982, pls. 109 and 113. During the Western Zhou dynasty the curved arms and torso were transformed into the coiled body of a dragon and the headdress usually into a dragon that either surmounted the head or arched back behind the head.

    Western Zhou pendants were made either in an upright profile or a more unusual curved profile like that of the present pendant and one in the Qing Court Collection, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 40 - Jadeware (I), Hong Kong, 1995, p. 122, pl. 102. On this pendant, the dragon rather than being on top of the head is behind the head. This is also true of two similar pendants illustrated by Yang Boda in Chinese Archaic Jades from the Kwan Collection, Art Gallery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1994, nos. 132 and 133. Also illustrated is a rubbing of a late Western Zhou pendant carved with similar iconography, but an upright rather than curved body, from Tanghu, Xinzheng county, Henan province. Another similar pendant, formerly in the Eumorphopoulos Collection, is illustrated by S. Jenyns in Chinese Archaic Jades in the British Museum, London, 1951, pl. XXXVIII B, which has a small suspension loop formed by the upswept hair in place of the dragon on top of the head. The pendant appears to be equally thin, and is also beveled along the front edge of the face, which has the same distinctive concave profile as that of the present pendant, as do the other aforementioned pendants. A pair of related pendants, but not of curved outline, dated 9th century BC, is illustrated by J. F. So in Chinese Jades from the Cissy and Robert Tang Collection, Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2015, p. 95-96, no. 14b. The author also illustrates, p. 97, figs. 14.1 and 14.2, two other pendants of this type, each of curved outline, the first from Jin state cemetery M63 at Tianma-Qucun, the second a rubbing of a pendant from Rui state cemetery M27 at Liangdaicun, Hancheng.

    Provenance

    B. K. Wong, Hong Kong, 26 September 1989.


    Literature

    Nicole De Bisscop, Chinese Jade and Scroll Paintings from the Dongxi Collection, Brussels, 1995, p. 46, no. 15.
    Filippo Salviati, "The Dongxi Collection of Chinese Jades", Orientations, November 1995, p. 47, fig. 5.


    Exhibited

    Chinese Jade and Scroll Paintings from the Dongxi Collection, Kredietbank Gallery Brussels, 25 October - 17 December 1995; Kredietbank Luxembourg, 1 February - 13 April 1996, no. 15.