Chinese Jade Cong, Liangzhu Culture
Rare Chinese Jades, Neolithic to Han to Song to Qing Dynasty, A Brief History
When many people think of Chinese art the allure and mystique of Jade often springs to mind first. Just hearing the word Jade conjures images of Asia and more specifically China.
Going back thousands of years this harder than steel stone has been mined, carved, shaped and polished in virtually every shape imaginable. From weapons and axes to mythical animal forms, musical chimes, incense burners, suits of armor, hat nobs, hairpins, bowls, boxes, pendants, death veils, vases and hundreds more to numerous to list.
Jade historically has been held in such high esteem it was for centuries believed to have mythical and magical property's, consequently evolving into a primary material of choice for religious ceremony's and burials. The use would determine it's form and shape and even color to accompany the deceased into the after world.
|Han Dynasty (206 BC- 220 AD) Feline Carving in Jade|
|Warring States (403BC -221BC) Period Jade Plaque|
|Fine Spinach Green Jade Incense Burner, |
Qianlong Period (1736-1795)
|Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) Jade Suit, |
Gold Threads backed with Red Silk
As China's constantly changing political landscape moved through the centuries ever changing regional governments, wars and turmoil created new or changed views towards art which created constant change. Buddhism's influence, evolution in fashion, burial rituals, scholar's objects all melded together over time creating a vast broad expanse of desirable forms were produced to meet demand of the powerful among the heads of Government, religious intellectuals and wealthy merchants. Eventually, these influences would trickle down to greater and lesser degrees among the working classes.
|Imperial Qianlong (1736-1795) Carved Jade Fish|
|Imperial Qianlong (1736-1795) Jade Book|
During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) jade carving returned to more traditional antecedents reflecting the work done during the Han and Song periods. Jade carving during the Yuan (1271-1368) period, like many traditional Chinese arts, fell to the wayside during China's years under the Mongols. The revival of traditional art including splendidly executed small mythical creatures, calcified jades resembling Neolithic examples and religious ritual pieces came back into favor among the Imperial court as well as scholars and the literati classes.
Slide Show Of Imperial Jades of the Qing Dynasty (1736-1795)
By the Qianlong (1735-1795) period in China Jade carving had reached a level of elegance and detail never imagined before. China had become an economic powerhouse in world trade, the wealth of this Emperor exceeded the entire wealth of every nation in the west combined.
|Fine Qianlong (1736-1795) Period Celadon Jade Mythical Beast|
Today the variety of Jades in all of their forms represent the cumulative work of thousands of years. Enjoy them.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding your Asian art. After 35 years its what we do every day. 978 283 3524
~ Peter L. Combs, Gloucester, Massachusetts