Friday, December 19, 2008

Sa Huynth Earrings

This funny shaped three pronged stone (maybe nephrite ) ornament was purchased from South Vietnam. I think it belongs to the the nephrite earrings (sometimes called lingling-o) from the Sa Huynh Culture of Vietnam (1000 BC to 200 AD), a late prehistoric metal age society on the central coast of Viet Nam.
However my specimen may not be genuine Sa Huynh. I somehow got the feeling that it is a replica. The seller being uneasy himself, had said that it is from the Champa Kingdom, a later civilization and that could bring it as far down as 1800.

The curled up C-shaped ornament also reminds me of the Chinese Hongshan (3500 to 2000BC) zhulong(pig dragon.) The zulong is descended from the jue(slit ring) and the jue-form is also used in Vietnam although later than the Chinese period. So from this chain of reasoning my impression that the lingling-o and zhulong are distant cousins, relatives or whatever, may not be too far fetched ! Though I must admit that my assumptions are completely unscientific !

Are my eyes or mind playing tricks on me ? Seems like the more I look at it the more I see the zhulong pose (minus the prongs) in the earring ornament. Here are two views:

The picture on the left is a lingling-o looking view (the earring view) usually shown in books and other sources. The picture on the right shows a different view. Does it not resemble the curled up zhulong ? Wish I could post a picture of a zhulong for comparison. Unfortunately, I do not own one not even a replica. However jade collectors would be familiar with this legendary artifact and the Net would also have many images of this illustrous mythical animal.
So is this a fake lingling-o that looks like a zhulong ? Well I must say this is one tricky piece and the faker must be having a good chuckle baffling hapless collectors like me. :)

Here is another C-shaped, lingling-o/zhulong lookalike ornament made from glass also purchased in Vietnam.

Vintage unknown.

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