A SMALL AXE-SHAPED PENDANT CARVED IN BEAUTIFULLY COLOURED JADE
Jade, China. Late Neolithic period, Dawenkou culture, c.3000-2000 BC 鉞形玉佩 -大汶口文化, 約公元前3000-2000年
This tiny blade, or axe-shaped ornament, has an almost woodlike grain to it. It is mostly beige, with delicate darker markings throughout and a brown vertical striation, except for a tiny upper corner which is creamy white. The jade, now opaque, is smooth to the touch and has a central hole in the upper area of the object. The shape and type of jade of this pendant suggest an attribution to the late period of the Dawenkou culture (c.3000-2000 BC), around the beginning of the Bronze Age: compare a slightly longer axe-shaped jade published in F. Salviati, 4000 Years of Chinese Archaic Jades, Edition Zacke, Vienna 2017, no.87.
LENGTH 5.4 CM 長 5.4 厘米
Former collection of the famous paleontologist G.H. Ralph von Koenigswald (1902-1982), acquired around 1939 in Beijing.
All jades in this catalogue have been professionally examined, authenticated and described by Prof. Filippo Salviati. Professor Salviati teaches Chinese and Korean art at Sapienza University in Rome, in the Italian Institute of Oriental Studies. He is a world expert on archaic Chinese jades, having released multiple publications and being cited by renowned auction houses such as Sotheby’s. The microscopic images made available here, show that the weathering of the jade has occurred over a long period of time. Furthermore in the magnification one can reconstruct the workings of the jade. The two aforementioned criteria are exactly what counts in the authentication of archaic jades – the difficult and elaborate workmanship by hand and the subsequent weathering of the jade over centuries. The microscopic enlargements show how the patterns were ground out in many small steps, sometimes over months, and that the weathering actually occurs above the carvings, meaning it occurred after the jade was completed.