Chinese jade (Room 33b)
The Selwyn and Ellie Alleyne Gallery
About 5000 BC – present
Please note: this gallery is closed until November 2017
In China, jade has been a material of the highest value since ancient times. The objects on display in Room 33b illustrate the history of the exotic stone, prized for its beauty and magical properties. Translucent yet tough, jade was worked into ornaments, ceremonial weapons and ritual objects by Chinese craftspeople.
Most of the jades on show in Room 33b are on loan from the collection of Sir Joseph Hotung and demonstrate many different types of workmanship.
They range from long, smooth Neolithic blades to later plaques, ornaments, dragons, human sculptures and intricate eighteenth century pendants.