Sunday, December 6, 2009

3 Prong Jade Ornament

This 3 prong jade ornament was purchased in China.

It is an archaic shape and resembles the trident shaped artifacts from Neolithic periods which has been described as "San Zi" (shaped like the Chinese character "Mountain." ) Such artifacts are illustrated and described in Chinese as well as Western literature. See JADE by consultant editor Roger Keverne pages 54 and 76 for Liangzhu examples. They are said to be hair ornaments because they have been discovered near the head usually together with a jade Stick.

The Liangzhu examples in book JADE show exquisite carvings but my specimen is completely plain. The holes are also positioned differently, the Liangzhu trident has holes drilled from the top of the prongs, while in my specimen the 3 holes on the prongs and one at the circular end of the pendant are all drilled through the body of the pendant. My pendant is also thinner than the Liangzhu ones.

One side is horrendously corroded

On the obverse side the damage is not so bad.

My partial eye is again detecting some strange phenomenon on the less corroded side. Look at the ornament with the prongs facing downwards :

Do you see a sillouhuette or vague outline that is birdlike and  seems nature made?

close up view

Ha ha mayhap my imagination doth run wild (the cynic Heng says its just a blotch lah !) I just love these quirky pieces that will not make me rich except in the mind and the heart.

To conclude, this three prong piece strongly resembles an archaic artefact though I'd be hard pressed to give its definite vintage.

Below I have tried to recreate its use as a hair ornament, fitting it with Xizhou carnelian and turquoise disc beads. Could it have been tied to some ladies elegant top knot in ancient times ? Hmmmm, actually,  it reminds me of the hair dangles worn by Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Carribean. I suppose some swinging Stone Age guy might have had the same fashion idea aeons ago :)))

Ornament  for Johnny Depp or Stone Age Guy ?

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Favourite Books

  • Theft : a love story
  • The Uncommon Reader
  • Never Let me go
  • Angela's Angels
  • Where angels fear to tread