TZONG BRACELET WITH MASKS IN JADE
Bracelet with masks in yellow nephrite jade. The yellow colouring is likely due to the ferrous deposits in the soil. The bracelet is irregular in shape and has slightly square corners. Four Taotie motifs are delicately chiselled and inserted in the relief rectangles that are places in the corners. The facial features including two large eyes, nose and mouth are easily distinguishable.
The Liangzhu culture (circa 4300-2400 BC, Shanghai region), already highly stratified, produced numerous graves, which testify to the exceptional mastery of the jade carvers in the rich lands of the Yangtze Delta. This expertise has been celebrated since ancient times, when the reuse of archaic jades from Liangzhu was common, complimentary work was sometimes done to these pieces. One can truly speak of the art of jade, the subtleness of the forms produced in Neolithic cultures as well as South-eastern Mongolia. This very hard stone is perfectly polished and cut following pure geometrical forms, portraying motifs that seem to be harmoniously arranged. The polishing of this extremely hard stone could only be done using methods of friction, abrasion and polishing. The composite material of jade, which is extremely hard, was clearly chosen based on symbolic considerations that enhance the purity associated with its hardness, and many values in Chinese culture. Jade is attributed to the protection of the body by cultures that believe in the migration of the physical body from this life to that of our ancestors, or the realm of the immortals.