A very rare archaic jade ritual vessel, cong Neolithic Period, Liangzhu Culture

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Lot 4
A very rare archaic jade ritual vessel, cong
Neolithic Period, Liangzhu Culture

Sold for HK$ 21,700,000 (US$ 2,765,243) inc. premium
A very rare archaic jade ritual vessel, cong
Neolithic Period, Liangzhu Culture
Of short cylindrical square section, each projected corner finely and precisely depicted with two registers of stylised human and animal masks below two raised bands incised with parallel lines, the upper face with small circular eyes and the lower face with larger protruding eyes, both noses formed by a small raised bands with rounded ends, the lustrous opaque stone of chalky-white tone suffused with buff inclusions. 8.4cm (3 1/4in) wide

Footnotes

  • 新石器時代 良渚文化 神人獸面紋玉琮

    Provenance:
    The Peony Collection
    An important Asian private collection

    Published and Illustrated:
    R.Keverne, ed., Jade, London, 1990, p.73, fig.39
    A.Forsyth and B.McElney, Jades from China, Bath, 1994, no.39

    Exhibited:
    Jades from China, Museum of East Asian Art, Bath, 11 June 1994

    來源:
    Peony收藏
    重要亞洲私人收藏

    出版及著錄:
    R.Keverne,《Jade》,倫敦,1990年,頁73,圖39
    A.Forsyth及B.McElney,《Jades from China》,巴斯,1994年,編號39

    展覽:
    《Jades from China》,東亞藝術博物館,巴斯,1994年6月11日

    The present cong displays the distinctive characteristic of Liangzhu culture cong vessels, with a square outer section around a circular inner part and decorated with stylised masks neatly arranged on each of the four corners. The exceptional craftsmanship is particularly notable in the very delicate and precise quality of the carving and incised decoration, enhanced by the lustrous patina formed on the surface over time.

    One interpretation of the function of cong is that it symbolised the earth. Although the precise meaning and use of the cong is not entirely clear, it was found in extensive numbers in Liangzhu tombs and is believed to be of great significance.

    Compare a similar jade cong, Liangzhu culture, also carved with two registers of stylised human and animal masks excavated in 1984 from Fuquanshan in Qingpu County, Shanghai, now in the Shanghai Administrative Committee of Culture Heritage, illustrated in Liangzhu wenhua yuqi, Hong Kong, 1989, p.17, pl.19. See another related example of a jade cong, included in the Min Chiu Society Thirtieth Anniversary Exhibition: Selected Treasures of Chinese Art, Hong Kong, 1990, no.195.

    矮方柱形,外方內圓。外表分為兩節,每節以四角為中線,上下節合成一組帶冠神人獸面紋,全器共四組。上節在兩條平行的凸橫棱下,雕刻一人面,以線刻重圈為眼,下方以凸橫檔作鼻,上刻細密雲紋和橫直線組成的飾帶。下節雕一獸面,以橋形凸面作額,以橢圓形凸面作眼瞼,中間以線刻重圈為眼,以凸橫檔作鼻,上刻細密雲紋和橫直線組成的飾帶。整器製作規整,雕琢精緻,拋光細膩,極為難得。

    玉琮是良渚文化玉器中最典型器物之一。雖然學術界關於玉琮的起源及用途眾說紛紜,但從出土墓葬中所發現玉琮之數量足以顯示玉琮在良渚文化玉器中的特殊地位。目前大多數學者認同玉琮是和某種神袛崇拜有關的禮儀用玉。

    對比一件良渚獸面紋玉琮,1984年出土於青浦縣福泉山,現藏於上海市文物管理委員會,著錄於《良渚文化玉器》,香港,1989年,頁17,圖版19。另參考一件玉琮,曾出展於《歷代文物萃珍:敏求精舍三十週年紀念展》,香港,1990年,圖錄編號195。
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A very rare archaic jade ritual vessel, cong Neolithic Period, Liangzhu Culture
A very rare archaic jade ritual vessel, cong Neolithic Period, Liangzhu Culture
A very rare archaic jade ritual vessel, cong Neolithic Period, Liangzhu Culture
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