Lot 38. A UNIQUE ELEGANT AND DELICATELY CARVED DRAGON-SHAPED XI OR “KNOT-OPENER”

Starting price:€ 4 000
Auction date:29.09.2017   16:00 UTC +02:00
Archive
ID 7376
Lot 38A UNIQUE ELEGANT AND DELICATELY CARVED DRAGON-SHAPED XI OR “KNOT-OPENER”
Jade. China, EASTERN ZHOU, LATE WARRING STATES PERIOD, 4th - 3rd CENTURY BC
罕見龍形玉觿-東周戰國時代晚期, 公元前4世紀-前3世紀

Length: 11.5 cm
長 11.5 厘米

This highly elegant ornament with a delicately carved dragon is a fine example of a xi 觿, or “knot-opener”, which gets its name from the shape of the slightly arched body and acuminated tail.

The extended body of the dragon is full of curves and embellishments that rise above the top central area, and then gradually decrease in size and quantity towards the two ends, where the long tail and head are carved. The dragon has an elongated snout which counterbalances the tip of the tail at the opposite end of the xi, while the curves at the top are balanced by the two forelimbs. These jut out from the body right after the neck: one turns to the right, where it touches the dragon’s ear, and the other turns to the left where it touches the lower part of its body that designs an s-shaped curve just before the tail. This is carved with fine, parallel and slanting grooves that recall the “twisted rope” pattern used in the decoration of ring JAK917-025 in this auction. Stylized wings are rendered as curled volutes that extend from the centre of the dragon’s body.

The originally light green jade, which presents a few slightly orangey areas, has lost its translucency and turned almost totally white and opaque due to calcification.

Literature comparison/Archaeological sites: This beautiful pendant matches a dragon-shaped xi which was discovered in 1977 in a late Eastern Zhou tomb at Changfeng Yaonggong, Anhui province: see Yang Boda, Zhongguo meishu quanji: yuqi 中國美术全集 - 玉器 (Chinese works of art series: jade) vol.9, Beijing 1986, no.123.



Expertise: Prof. Dr. Filippo Salviati

From an Austrian collection
奧地利老佔有

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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Galerie Zacke
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Austria
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Preview26.09.2017 - 28.09.2017
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