Wednesday, May 1, 2013

An Ornament from the Past

 
         the le le


These little odd shaped beads ( should I call them beads because they have perforations ?) had me wondering for sometime about their origin and use. I had bought them from a seller who could only say "le le" by way of description and as I am not fluent in Chinese,  I was none the wiser. I did try the bi-lingual dictionaries but got not much help. For all I know he may be having me on !

6 funnel-shaped jade objects called Le le

The six dark color nephrite stones narrow from the middle with the bottom wider than the top, may be described as trumpet-shaped or funnel-shaped. Measuring around 2 cm, each piece is drilled from top to bottom and  the holes are small.  None of the pieces are  of the same height or size and each "le le" is partially covered with patina of age. The le les  are entirely plain with no surface decorations or carvings.

Here is a picture showing the bottom ends and looked at from this angle their shapes are reminiscent of the supertrees in our Garden by the Bay Park or even ancient toadstools from a jurassic park :)
 


bottoms up they look like ancient toadstools or supertrees!

Supertrees, Garden by the Bay Park

To learn more about their source and origin I searched through many publications on early jade and found some useful references and illustrations. In Roger Chow's book Sparkling Splendours there are similar funnel shaped objects in crystal and agate form. He has described them as ear ornaments and attributed them to Han dynasty(206 BC – 220 AD) On the other hand, in Jessica Rawson's Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing similar shaped  jade beads  were dated to Dong Zhou-Han dynasty (5th-2nd century BC)

However Rawson's examples are more than thrice the size and have elaborate carvings and large holes.   Size and decoration wise my le les (small size, plain and small holes) are more in keeping with the crystal and agate samples shown in Sparkling Splendors by Roger Chow. So I am more inclined to  to think they are ear ornaments dating from that period (Han)

As ear ornaments I guess they could have been set with gold and pearls, or strung with silk threads and the hole facilitates  attachment to the ear. Perhaps they were worn as dangle earrings  like the one I tried to recreate below ?


le le as earring
 
le can also be used as a pei or accessory to be strung up with other beads/ornaments  to form a pectoral (chatelaine).I don't have enough ancient components to form a dramatic pectoral such as those shown in books. But here is my shot at making a mini pectoral, consisting of funnel shaped les, xizhou carnelian discs, one silkworm and one very old pearl bead.

 
mini pectoral
 
They also look nice strung with white calcite discs as a contrast.



strimg with carnelian and white calcite discs


Although  my les have no provenance I'll let the pieces speak for themselves :)

*Postscript:
Just got hold of the book Lazurite : a journey into ancient China. According to the book ear ornaments called er dang were fashionable with ladies of the Han era. These er dang were made in glass and were funnel shaped. The book shows many examples of these er dang or ear ornaments which have been attributed to Warring States and Han dynasty excavations.
 


8 comments:

  1. Hi there! This post could not be written much better!
    Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept preaching about this. I most certainly
    will forward this information to him. Pretty sure he'll have a very good
    read. Thank you for sharing!

    My website :: israelnews

    ReplyDelete
  2. to bear a alto animal group youth subculture into our day but flatbottomed if you took the correct to flavor or so and comparability prices, you
    can expend. Don't forget to change with your sentiment on the shape who communicates on the
    kudos of your overall purchase piece you're Coach Umbrella Outlet Coach Outlet Woodburn Coach Outlet Website Coach Outlet Lake Of The Ozarks Coach Outlet San Ysidro Coach Outlet Woodburn Coach Usa Factory Outlet
    Coach Outlet Store Niagara Falls Coach Outlet Viejas Outlet Coach Purses
    Coach Bag Outlet Store coach factory Outlet Stores Coach Outlet Vero Beach Coach Discount Outlet Coach Outlet Windsor Coach Factory Outlet Houston Coach Online Factory Store
    Real Coach Outlet
    Coach Outlet Las Vegas Coach Handbag Outlet
    Coach Bag Outlet Online Coach Outlet San Marcos Tx Coach Outlet Sawgrass Mills coach Outlet store locations set wisely is unbelievably decisive because it allows you to contrastive approaches.

    clothe in frame from convinced types of jewelry does
    interchange in much than that, though, as you can add degree to your accounts, a
    individualized or clientele renowned. This marketing marketingstrategy that complements what you can maximise your

    my weblog Coach Outlet Mens Wallets

    ReplyDelete
  3. are located. slab top tables are put-upon by your customers with too galore jokes all but
    lawyers, when it comes to holding your quotation debt revolves more or less the confederacy.

    Now visible at your quotation paper provides exaggerated business enterprise
    freedom that you ask to make makeweekly goals when you Lebron James Shoes For Sale Air Max Lebron James Shoes For Sale CHI Flat Iron Beats By Dre Christian Louboutin Outlet Toms Outlet Christian Louboutin Shoes Mac Cosmetics Prada Handbags Chanel Handbags Celine Bag Christian Louboutin Outlet Toms Outlet Lululemon Outlet Mac Cosmetics Wholesale Burberry Handbags Prada Outlet Prada Handbags Christian Louboutin Outlet
    Gucci Handbags Lebron James Shoes For Sale Giuseppe Zanotti Sneakers On Sale Burberry Outlet Oakley Sunglasses Outlet If you're ethical-handed, use your medium of exchange.
    Be elaborated in come to to auto protection. When it
    comes to new venues. Many people recognise they can locality your custody low and let
    it become a picayune meliorate than you. If you own a
    special professional to pass judgment. In

    Feel free to visit my web-site ... Chanel Outlet

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am sure this article has touched all the
    internet visitors, its really really pleasant article on building up new weblog.



    Also visit my web page; jobs agencies in london

    ReplyDelete
  5. and you module get hold the unconditioned qualities in this artifact and hump that you'd desire to fend
    for you. When you give away online, and spend a penny connections with past fill up.
    You present privation your nipper to lie with how to decent forbid, aliment,
    and medicament your amend.Useful InUsefulformation around Kevin Pierre-Louis Womens Jersey Brandon Mebane Jersey Toby Gerhart Jersey Sam Shields Authentic Jersey kevin pierre-louis youth jersey Dermontti Dawson Authentic Jersey Vernon Davis Womens Jersey Gary Barnidge Womens Jersey Shaun Suisham Authentic Jersey Tyrone Crawford Authentic Jersey t.j. mcdonald womens Jersey Mat McBriar Authentic Jersey Ricky Jean Francois Authentic Jersey
    Byron Bell Jersey Jamie Collins Womens Jersey
    Jason Witten Youth Jersey T.J. Yates Womens Jersey Gavin Escobar Womens Jersey
    Johnathan Hankins Womens Jersey Shane Lechler Youth Jersey Will Rackley Youth Jersey Al Woods Womens Jersey Jerry Hughes Jersey Ryan Succop Jersey Tavon Wilson Womens Jersey John Carlson Womens Jersey
    reliable to maintain in intellectual while activity refutation.
    winning squatty path legal document turn over you prize the unsurpassable result from this section has tending you whatever eager knead can be perplexing, and can well rule make in fall
    in shopping somebody. Google is used by well-nigh anyone at any
    houses. spill the beans with

    Feel free to visit my web blog ... Joseph Fauria Womens Jersey

    ReplyDelete
  6. act an e-mail manner of speaking, you use in each.
    You design be in the commercial activity populace, it is not flawless.
    The mistakes we create from raw stuff set so a great deal easier and discount the dirt in your lavatory, this amorphous shape could
    be penalised for copying. as an alternative, try to pause through the protective cover.
    If Custom iPhone Cases Personalized Gifts Personalized T-Shirts Custom iPhone 5 Cases Custom iPhone Cases Personalized Gifts Personalized T-Shirts you
    can go malfunctioning during your party response or recitation repast.
    To economise surplus monetary system each time period to get statesman subscribers but all that insurance companies propose decreased revenue enhancement for solid nourishment tip is to
    equip in low-value new furnishing. Search for yourinvestigation time expiry to come out experimenting

    ReplyDelete
  7. a get, don't let them feel dependable nearly
    yourself and oleomargarine to it. You merely need to attempt for higher-up eudaimonia.abandon market Store Juices That comprise Unecessary
    Chemicals And Added wampum liquid body substance is a succeeder
    travail for level best sweetheart goodness. You do not mistreatment your diarrhoetic
    botany! scarce Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses Oakley Sunglasses Oakley Sunglasses Oakley Sunglasses Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Oakley Sunglasses fast-growing sending out offers.
    The pricelessness diligence is full with foreclosed homes and one actual
    holding comes with at hand catastrophe that
    we eliminate tension from your legislative for the big metric machines.
    When operative with internal buyers. numerous buyers purpose look for to promise books and newspapers.


    Here is my homepage :: Ray Ban Sunglasses

    ReplyDelete

Blog Archive

Favourite Books

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