Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A set of Small Jade Ornaments from the Liangzhu Culture 3300-2300BC

A set of ancient jade ornaments  comprising 10 tubular jade beads strung with turquoise beads, a small slit ring (jue), a small disc (bi)and a small huang. All purchased in Hangzhou and purportedly from the Liangzhu Culture (3300-2300 BC) The stone, patina, and shape of the items do resemble Liangzhu artefacts so there is a good chance that these are of the period. Also Hangzhou is the site of Liangzhu culture makes the possibility more likely.

Set of ancient jade ornaments

The ten tubular beads are interspersed with turquoise beads which may not be from the same timeline.

Ten tubular beads with turquoise beads

According to research the slit ring or jue (2.3cm)  on left is an ear ornament and are often strung with the bi disc (2cm) on right and huang below

Slit ring (jue) and small bi (disc)

The small arch shaped huang measures 5cm and must have been part of a longer necklace. Each end of the huang is drilled with a hole and a groove.

Jade huang with hole and groove at both ends

The hole and groove at both ends may represent they eyes and mouths of a dragon. Later versions of  jade huangs have dragon carvings at both ends so this may be an early version. This is entirely my own conjecture.

Looks like an eye and a mouth

Unlike large ceremonial ritualistic objects  of the Neolithic period, these ornaments are small and minimalist but have a life of their own  If these beads and ornaments were exhibited in a museum, would they be arranged as below ?

Museum display

I don't have enough beads and ornaments to string into an elaborate strand but still managed to make quite a decent one. :)­čśŐ

Strung as a strand

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