A RARE SMALL YELLOWISH JADE OVAL ORNAMENT
A RARE SMALL YELLOWISH JADE OVAL ORNAMENT

SPRING AND AUTUMN-WARRING STATES PERIOD, 5TH CENTURY BC

Details
A RARE SMALL YELLOWISH JADE OVAL ORNAMENT
SPRING AND AUTUMN-WARRING STATES PERIOD, 5TH CENTURY BC
The oval ornament is carved at the four corners with dragon heads and on each side with the abstract scrolls of their bodies against a hatchured ground and within a narrow, diagonally hatchured, outer border. The softly polished, semi-translucent stone is a pale yellowish-green color with small areas of opaque alteration.
1 ½ in. (3.8 cm.) long, box
Provenance
B.K. Wong, Hong Kong, 17 January 1989.
Literature
Nicole De Bisscop, Chinese Jade and Scroll Paintings from the Dongxi Collection, Brussels, 1995, p. 47, no. 17.
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. 17.

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Lot Essay

The oval shape and dragon-head projections at the corners make this ornament quite rare. A related ornament, also with oval central opening, similar scroll decoration and dragon heads at the corners, dated to the late Spring and Autumn period, is illustrated by Yang Boda in Chinese Archaic Jades from the Kwan Collection, Art Gallery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1994, no. 160. Also illustrated, no. 195, is a jade ladle, its long slender handle surmounted by an undecorated oval ring with two hook-shaped extensions. Stylistically the present ornament is also related to an oval pendant in the Sonnenschein Collection illustrated by A. Salmony in Archaic Chinese Jades, The Art Institute of Chicago, 1952, pl. LXXXIV, no. 5. The ornament has animal-head projections at two corners and feet at the other two corners suggesting that the decoration carved in low relief on the two sides corresponds to the bodies of the animals, as it does on the Dongxi ornament. See, also, a pair of hinged disks dated late Eastern Zhou in the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection illustrated by M. Loehr in Ancient Chinese Jades, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, 1975, p. 342, no. 507. The two disks have four openwork extensions, two in the shape of birds, the other two in the shape of animal heads, and both sides of the disks are carved with comma spirals. Jade oval rings of this type can be seen used as a weapon ornament such as the example form Shanxi Taiyuan Jinshengcun tomb 251 illustrated by J. Rawson in Chinese Jades from the Neolithic to the Qing, British Museum, 1995, p. 292, fig. 5. This ornament, dated Eastern Zhou, 6th-5th century BC, is carved with rounded scrolls on each side, but does not have projections at the corners.

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