Lot 13. A DAO, OR KNIFE-SHAPED BLADE, WITH FIVE FASTENING HOLES, CARVED FROM A MULTI-COLOURED JADE WITH A WHITE STRIPE

Starting price:€ 1 400
Auction date:29.09.2017   16:00 UTC +02:00
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ID 7351
Lot 13A DAO, OR KNIFE-SHAPED BLADE, WITH FIVE FASTENING HOLES, CARVED FROM A MULTI-COLOURED JADE WITH A WHITE STRIPE
Jade. China, Early Bronze Age, Qijia culture, c.2200-1600 BC
五孔玉刀, 青銅時代早期,齊家文化, 約公元前2200-1600年

LENGTH: 26.5 CM, WIDTH: 5.8 CM, THICKNESS: 0.47 CM,
長26.5厘米,寬5.8厘米,厚0.47厘米

This rather long knife, known as a dao刀 in Chinese, is carved from a jade with a striking mix of coloured areas. Five equidistant and somewhat irregular holes are drilled from one side only along the top side of the slightly trapezoidal blade: the holes were used to fasten the ceremonial blade onto a wooden support with the aid of ropes.

The originally whitish colour of the jade is visible in only one very small area that runs along the bottom, cutting edge. The main body of the blade is almost completely yellowish in colour, with various speckles of black and brown. An irregular marked black striation extends along the lateral and top sides, which are calcified and whitish. The marble-like variations in colour, which are due to alterations caused by inclusions, create a striking visual effect. There are some rough, slightly nicked areas along the top as well as a chip in the calcified jade at one of the lower corners.

Literature comparison/Archaeological sites: The stone and workmanship are typical of the jades crafted by the Qijia culture of north-western China. Compare three ceremonial knives with a similar form and texture in the Harvard Art Museums, accession numbers 1943.50.13/53/96, published in M. Loehr and L.G. Fitzgerald Huber, Ancient Chinese Jades from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA) 1975, nos.343-345. A large knife with a similar colour, texture and calcified top border is published in F. Salviati, 4000 Years of Chinese Archaic Jades, Edition Zacke, Vienna 2017, no.135.

Expertise: Prof. Dr. Filippo Salviati

From a Luxembourg collection 盧森堡舊藏

All jades in this catalogue have been professionally examined, authenticated and described by Prof. Fillipo 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.

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Preview26.09.2017 - 28.09.2017
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