A pair of rectangular white jade 'archaistic' plaques
Western Zhou dynasty Each of slender rectangular form with carefully worked edges with minor perforations, delicately incised on one side with the profile of a pair of confronting archaistic bird heads in mirror image, the translucent stone of a pale green color slightly mottled with natural veining and opaque white inclusions. Each 4.9cm high. (2).
Provenance 來源: Arthur M. Sackler collection Christie's New York, 18 March 2009, lot 306
The present lot may possibly be a component of an elaborate set of jade coverings for ceremonial burial. This practice was believed to have originated from the Mid Western Zhou period. Such jade carvings were also excavated from tomb 157 and tomb 303 of the Jingshu family at Shaanxi and Fengxi, which yielded jades that covered the features of the face. These excavated examples share many similarities to the current lot: thinly worked with small perforations at the corners so that they can be sewn onto textiles forming the veil. See a comparable example illustrated by Jessica Rawson, Chinese Jades from the Neolithic to the Qing, Chicago, 1995, p.316, fig 4.
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