A POWERFUL HUANG ARCHED PENDANT WITH FINELY DETAILED DRAGON HEADS AND A PATTERN OF RAISED CURLS
Jade, China. Eastern Zhou, late Warring States period, 4th - 3rd century BC 雙龍頭紋玉璜 -東周戰國時代晚期, 公元前4世紀-前3世紀
This beautifully carved huang represents two powerful dragons that share the same arched body, covered with small, spirals in relief. The heads, carved in profile at each extremity, have curled upturned snouts, eyes, fangs, tufts of hair, and a cut-out area that describes the open mouths with a carved, overlapping fang. The lower jaws are pointed, with two stylized tufts of hair that protrude from the chin, while the two longer tufts that extend from the dragons’ horns, or ears, separate the head from the bodies. Very finely carved grooves outline the eyes, fangs, tufts of hair and the borders of the jade, accentuating the curves of the carving. At the top centre there is a hole, drilled from both sides, from which the pendant was hung.
The pendant is carved from a translucent white jade that has a very slight brownish tinge, except for the areas of the dragons’ heads, which have turned opaque white from calcification. There are also traces of soil and some scattered areas of red pigmentation and other greyish, whitish markings, due to alterations in the stone.
A similar huang pendant with finely detailed dragon heads is in the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., accession number F1932.38. Compare also a larger huang published in F. Salviati, 4000 Years of Chinese Archaic Jades, Edition Zacke, Vienna 2017, no.266 and another one from the Samuel and Myrna Myers collection in J.P. Desroches (ed.), Two Americans in Paris. A Quest for Asian Art, Paris 2016, no.116. See also a very similar arched pendant auctioned at Galerie Zacke on September 29, 2017, lot no.37.
LENGTH 12.4 CM - WIDTH 2.4 CM 長12.4 厘米 - 寬 2.4 厘米
From an Austrian collection
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.