Archaic and Imperial China
Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 220)

This piece once belonged to the collection of a French diplomat, posted in Beijing in the 80's


Object :
Nº 1702
Medium :
Dimensions :
Height: 8 cm (3.1”)

Description :

Pyramidal "tsong" pillar in nephrite jade. The jade is light grey in colour. It is divided into three superimposed registers, each composed of four elements per section. This shows a typical pattern of the Han period. Signs of manual craftsmanship and irregularities. Very fine condition.

In China the "tsong" pillar is the symbol of the earth. One can truly speak of the art of jade. The subtleness of the forms produced in Neolithic cultures were found from the mouth of Yangzi River (Liangzhu culture) until South east Mongolia. This very hard stone was usually perfectly polished and cut following pure geometrical forms, portraying motifs that seemed to be harmoniously arranged. The polishing of this stone could only be done by 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. It is for this reason that these objects belong to funerary traditions.