Monday, February 13, 2017

A set of Ancient Jade Ornaments

This set of jade ornaments  comprise a lovely arc shaped jade plaque or huang,  purportedly from the Han dynasty (206 BC-24AD) and four cylindrical beads of unknown vintage.

A set of jade ornaments
The top ornament is a an arc shaped plaque or   huang  with dragon heads on both ends while the body is decorated with low relief grain design on one side. Measuring 8cm x 1cm this ornament is often seen in the Han dynasty (206BC-24 AD) as well as earlier dynasties and cultures.

Double headed dragon heads on arc shaped  plaque or huang

The back is plain and uncarved

Uncarved back

The short cylindrical beads have a strange carving of  what looks like a bird at one end....

carved image looks like a bird

..... and an upturned tail at the other..

Looks like a tail?
 The perforation is large and biconical
large bi conical  perforation

The design wraps round the cylindrical bead and can best be seen when impressed against a plasticine  mould somewhat like a seal. The image that appears on the mould looks like a  bird  floating on water the head at one end and an upturned tail at the other. Or  is it a boat ? It could also be some archaic language.  This bird like or boat like image is bordered by two cloud scrolls often seen in the Zhou-Han periods. The beads measure approximately 2cm x 1.3cm. I have not come across this design on jade beads before and am still trying to figure out which era it belongs.  Wish someone could enlighten me!
Design seen when impressed on a mold

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