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A RARE PALE GREENISH AND BROWN JADE BIRD-FORM FINIAL/INSIGNIA
A RARE PALE GREENISH AND BROWN JADE BIRD-FORM FINIAL/INSIGNIA

SHANG DYNASTY, ANYANG PHASE, CIRCA 1200 BC

Details
A RARE PALE GREENISH AND BROWN JADE BIRD-FORM FINIAL/INSIGNIA
SHANG DYNASTY, ANYANG PHASE, CIRCA 1200 BC
In the shape of a bird shown in profile, with hooked beak embellished with chevron striations, a large crest with notched edges, a rounded breast above a bifurcated tail and a bent leg with taloned foot terminating in a small pointed tab, the details carved in parallel lines, pierced with three biconical holes, the semi-translucent stone of pale greenish color with opaque areas of dark brown and russset color
4 1/16 in. (10.3 cm.) long
Provenance
Frank Caro, New York, 1964.

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Lot Essay

Similar bird-form finials have been excavated from the c. 1200 BC tomb of the Shang queen, Fu Hao, at Anyang, including two with a similar tall crest with notched edge illustrated in Yinxu Yuqi (The Jades from Yinxu), Beijing, 1982, pl. 44. Unlike the present ornament neither of the excavated examples has the small tab extending below the foot, but this feature can be seen on a related bird ornament illustrated by J. Rawson, Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, British Museum, 1995, p. 218, no. 12:14. Because of these tabs, these bird-form ornaments are now considered to have been made as finials or insignias and not necessarily as pendants.

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