KNOT OPENER IN THE FORM OF DRAGON – COUNTERPART TO THE DRAGON IN THE ROYAL NANYUE PECTORAL

Starting price:€ 3 500
Auction date:28.04.2017   15:00
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Lot 66KNOT OPENER IN THE FORM OF DRAGON – COUNTERPART TO THE DRAGON IN THE ROYAL NANYUE PECTORAL
KNOT OPENER IN THE FORM OF DRAGON – COUNTERPART TO THE DRAGON IN THE ROYAL NANYUE PECTORAL
Jade
China
Eastern Zhou, 3. Century. prior to the early Han(206 before)
LENGTH 8.6 CM, THICKNESS 6 MM
龍形玉刀。東周代,戰國時期,至漢代早期,公元前3世紀。長8.6厘米,厚約0.6厘米。維也納私人舊藏。

To this very finely crafted node NC it is famous in a very similar comparison pieces, including the"Pectoral of a Concubine"(E124) from the Royal tomb of Nanyue. Another is shown under No. 71 in the publication of the Collectors ' Exhibition of Archaic Jades in the National Palace Museum, Beijing. Node NC will be called Xi, and were worn on a belt. This elegant bogige piece is entirely a dragon, and despite his fragility – perfect. The head is alive formed nose and chin amboßförmig. The whole body is slender and end in a pointed smooth arc. Along the body in several approaches, arching, and with volutes or pointed and with the same momentum as the tail. A few fine lines to highlight the mane, on the sleek dragon body only frugal decor is in the Form of some bogiger hooks or grid. Very light green colour of Jade, in the light whitish.

This Jade is published in the book of FILIPPO SALVIATI: “THE MYSTERIOUS STONE: Chinese Jades from the Neolithic to the Han in private collections” (publication date spring 2017).

Notes by Prof. Salviati: Elongated and slightly arched jades carved in the shape of dragons or phoenixes with a pointed end are traditionally known as xi, or ‘knot-openers’: however, as many other jades, xi did not have an utilitarian function but were rather used as decorative counterparts in the composite ornament formed by different jades, as attested by finds in the Western and Eastern Zhou tombs. Xi remained in use until the Western Han period, when they were occasionally placed in the hands of the deceased: such is the case with Zhao Mo, the second ruler of the southern kingdom of Nanyue (2nd century BC). This xi is carved in a variety of white jade with almost no inclusions: the dragon has strong feline features and the body is finely detailed. A pair of very similar dragon-shaped xi, part of a five-piece set of ornaments in jade, has been discovered in the Nanyue tomb excavated at Guangzhou. The overall outline and design is similar to the present Lot, but the Nanyue jades are plainer, silhouette-like and lack the fine surface details of this XI. The same tomb has yielded another comparable jade which was found in the left hand of King Zhao Mo. In museum collections, a similar dragon-shaped xi is in the Freer/Sackler Galleries, acc. no. RLS1997.48.2135: http://www.asia.si.edu/collections/edan/object.php?q=fsg_RLS1997.48.2135 A second, very similar to jade, originally in the collection of Alfred F. Pillsbury (1869-1950), is now in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (acc. no.50.46.278): https://collections.artsmia.org/art/948/pendant-in-the-form-of-a-xi-tiger-china Compare also one in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, published in the National Palace Museum 國立故宮博物院, Gugong gu yu tu lu 故宫古玉圖錄 (Illustrated Catalogue of Ancient Jade Artefacts), National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1988.

Expertise: Wolfmar Zacken & Filippo Salviati
From a Viennese collection
Address of auction
Galerie Zacke
Mariahilferstrasse 112
1070 Wien
Austria
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Preview26.04.2017 - 28.04.2017
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