Height: 5.800 cm
Width: 4.800 cm
Asia OA 28:3
Room 33b: Chinese jade
Jade demon mask
China, Tang dynasty (AD 618-906) or later
This powerful, half-human face has an open jaw with fangs. Veins are incised on the forehead and small bunches of hair encircle the two horns. The back of the head is hollowed out and a central hole pierces the mask vertically. It is not known what the mask was made for, but it could have been a fitting or inlay for some larger item in another material which has not survived.
The face can be compared with tiles from the Xiuding temple pagoda near Qingliang in Henan province, built in the Taizong reign period (AD 624-50) of the Tang dynasty (see Related Objects).
J. Rawson, Chinese jade: from the Neolith (London, The British Museum Press, 1995, reprinted 2002)