- Museum number
Disc (bi) of white translucent jade with brown veining and mottled areas finished to a very high gloss. The convex sides of the disc are decorated in low relief on both sides with inter-locking C-scrolls with plain flat inner and outer rims.
- Production date
- 4thC BC-2ndC BC
Diameter: 6.80 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- See Loo 1950. This glittering, highly polished ring has a lens like cross-section, both surfaces being convex and drawn to a narrow edge on the inner and outer boundaries. A plain border encircles both of these edges, and the main surfaces are decorated with rows of small, interlinked scrolls. An almost identical ring was found at Henan Hui xian Guweicun, making it possible to date the form and its decoration to the four or third century BC. Similar rings are in a number of museum collections, including that of the British Museum. The pattern of linked scrolls also appears on a number of fine pendants of the late Eastern Zhou and early Han periods, including pieces from Anhui Changfeng Yanggong. Indeed, this surface pattern seems to have been reserved for jades of exceptionally high quality; for examples, jades with such designs from the fourth- to third-century BC tombs at Jincun near Luoyang are thought to have been those of the Zhou royal family. Some of these are now in the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, DC and the Arthur M Sackler Gallery, Harvard University. See Rawson 1995, p.264, cat.no.17.2.
The other major find of high-quality jades decorated with linked scrolls is from the late second-century BC tomb of the King of Nan Yue at Canton. A number of jades of different shapes in the tomb bear this motif. As this tomb is at least a hundred years later than the time when the majority of these jades were made, this find raises several questions. It is of course possible that the Jincun find is later than has previously been thought. On the other hand, if the late Eastern Zhou date for the Jincun find is correct, the gap in time has to be explained. Two different interpretations of th Nan Yue jades are possible. In the first place, many, if not all of the Nan Yue jades may be antiquities, buried some considerable period after they were carved. A second possibility is that they were deliberately conservative, perpetuating an earlier jade carving style or even recreating it. The tiger pendant from the tomb of the King of Nan Yue is quite like tiger pendants found in the Jincun tombs. It may be either an antiquity or an example of the conservative approach. It is, therefore, possible that other jades were deliberately copied from Henan style jades of a century or so earlier. Small rings incorporated into the compositions of several of the jades give them an archaistic flavour.
- On display (G33b/dc11)
- Exhibition history
2002, BM, 'Chinese Jade'
Previous loan number: 2014,AsiaLoan.6
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 57 (Hotung database number)