TWO-HEADED DRAGON PENDANT – DRAGON AMULET IN THE PECTORAL OF THE KING'S TOMB NANYUE

Starting price:€ 14 000
Auction date:28.04.2017   15:00
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Lot 69TWO-HEADED DRAGON PENDANT – DRAGON AMULET IN THE PECTORAL OF THE KING'S TOMB NANYUE
TWO-HEADED DRAGON PENDANT – DRAGON AMULET IN THE PECTORAL OF THE KING'S TOMB NANYUE
Jade
China
Late Eastern Zhou to Western Han,3. -2. Century. Before
WIDTH 12.8 CM, HEIGHT 6.6 CM,THICKNESS 5 MM
雙首龍玉環。中國,西漢代早期,公元前2世紀。寬12.8厘米,高6.6厘米,厚約0.5厘米。維也納私人舊藏。

In the below-mentioned publication, a complete jewelry is shown the hanger from the well-known tomb of king of Nanyue. The top piece of the hanger (Pectoral E143-9) is the here, this is very similar on overall shape, dragon heads and the decorative Element between them. The design on the surfaces of the winding body is different and size is the Royal comparative example is slightly smaller (L 10.2 cm). What is this Jade is not here is a Eyelet. It is likely, therefore, that this decorative element was introduced for the chest. The dragon heads are very fierce, nose, chin, ears, etc., have extremely Ends of the top and finest, part arch spout at the end of the Präzisheit is most amazing. The two dragons have a common body, forming an Oval, two lateral approaches with volutes, otherwise, the outer edge is smooth and the gradient even. The surface of the dragon's body-the oval is decorated on this piece on both sides with a very finely drawn composition of curved lines with scrolled Ends, part of which are provided between the surfaces with a dense grid pattern.
The decorative Element between the dragon that is in the comparison above example, clearly a mask, it is described as “a stylized mask of a monster”. Here, however, it is more purely decorative, if the shape is the same. The present piece is likely to come from a Prince's tomb, of fine appears to us to be a total, has a Nuance of noble, and is also better preserved. The jade color is a light yellow-green, due to the aging in large part whitish. The old Polish, very finely finalized, it has performed perfectly. Translucency is consistently given. This Jade is an extraordinary collector's item of a particular rarity.

A very similar comparison example is published in “Jades fromtheTomb of the King of Nanyue”, University of Hong Kong, no. 134. Or in “Chinese Jade The Spiritual and Cultural Significance of Jade in China” and other publications, such as the Salmony ...

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: This delicate openwork pendant is carved in the shape of two rampant, confronted feline-looking dragons that share the same arched body: the heads and front limbs of the animals are framed by the body which is engraved with finely incised volutes filled with an etched checker board motif. The dragons are separated by an apparently abstract pattern which, in reality, is a highly stylized taotie-type mask with a bulging nose, incised scrolls standing for the eyes, side ears or horns, to the open, split jaw and a crown-like protuberance on top. Two symmetrical curls extend from the sides of the counterpart: they recall the similar stylized wing-like appendage carved on the back of the tiger-shaped plaque. The jade is semi-translucent and pale yellow in colour with white altered areas, minor traces of natural surface corrosion in the heads of the dragons and soil encrustations that are mostly concentrated along the sides of the cut-outs. Once again, the closest comparable example to this finely crafted pendant is offered by a similarly shaped jade discovered in the 2nd century BC tomb of King Zhao Mo of Nanyue in Guangzhou. The comparable carving is the top element of a pectoral, formed by nine jades and beads strung together, that was placed in the burial of Zhao Mo’s wife, known as the “Lady of the Right”. The overall scheme is similar but the excavated jade differs from the present one only in some details of the decoration: the arched body of the dragon is filled with a dense pattern of raised scrolls, the taotie-like masks between the dragons have more clearly delineated eyes and the curls on the sides are carved at different points, not on the same level as the carving shown here. The jade ornament from the Nanyue tomb is reproduced in Yang Xiaoneng (ed.), The Golden Age of Chinese Archaeology. Celebrated Discoveries from The People's Republic of China, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1999, no.145. Prior to the discovery of the Nanyue tomb, we knew of only one other similar pendant, shaped as two confronting dragons but without the stylized taotie mask placed between them. The counterpart is part of an assemblage of jade strung together with a gold chain, which was acquired in 1930 by the Freer Gallery and reputedly excavated at Jincun, near Luoyang, in Henan province (Freer/Sackler Galleries, acc. no.F1930.27a-k): http://www.asia.si.edu/collections/edan/object.php?q=fsg_F1930.27a-k.

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