Monday, May 31, 2010

Flower White Jade stone carving / polishing

This flower is made of real white jade that is natural. All hand carved / polished. This sculpture originated from China.
Weight: I do not have the actual weight. Aproximate weight about 5 to 8kg

Chinese Jade brief info

Chinese jade is any of the carved-jade objects produced in China from the Neolithic Period (c. 3000–1500 BC) onward. The Chinese regarded carved-jade objects as intrinsically valuable. They metaphorically equated jade with human virtues because of its hardness, durability, and (moral) beauty.

The Chinese used jade for tools, but also for carved insignias and talismans probably related to ceremonial ritual. Jade was prized by the Chinese for its durability, its musical qualities, its subtle, translucent colors, and its alleged protective powers - it was thought to prevent fatigue and delay the decomposition of the body.

Faux jade

In almost all dictionaries, the Chinese character 'yù' (玉 is translated into English as 'jade'. However, this frequently leads to misunderstanding: Chinese, Koreans, and Westerners alike generally fail to appreciate that the cultural concept of 'jade' is considerably broader in China and Korea than in the West. A more accurate translation for this character on its own would be 'precious/ornamental rock'. It is seldom, if ever, used on its own to denote 'true' jade in Mandarin Chinese; for example, one would normally refer to 'ying yu' (硬玉, 'hard jade') for jadeite, or 'ruan yu' (軟玉, 'soft jade') for nephrite. The Chinese names for many ornamental non-jade rocks also incorporate the character 'yù', and it is widely understood by native speakers that such stones are not, in fact, true precious nephrite or jadeite. Even so, for commercial reasons, the names of such stones may well still be translated into English as 'jade', and this practice continues to confuse the ill-advised.

Dynastic history

Jade ornament with flower design, Jin Dynasty (1115-1234 AD), Shanghai Museum.Jade has been used in virtually all periods of Chinese history and generally accords with the style of decorative art characteristic of each period. Thus, the earliest jades, of the Neolithic Period, are quite simple and unornamented; those of the Shang (18th–12th century BC), Zhou (1111–255 BC), and Han (206 BC–AD 220) dynasties are increasingly embellished with animal and other decorative motifs characteristic of those times; in later periods ancient jade shapes, shapes derived from bronze vessels, and motifs of painting were used, essentially to demonstrate the craftsman's extraordinary technical facility.

During Neolithic times, the key known sources of nephrite jade in China for utilitarian and ceremonial jade items were the now depleted deposits in the Ningshao area in the Yangtze River Delta (Liangzhu culture 3400–2250 BC) and in an area of the Liaoning province in Inner Mongolia (Hongshan culture 4700–2200 BC)[2]. As early as 6000 B.C. Dushan Jade has been mined. In the Yin Ruins of Shang Dynasty (1,600 B.C. to 1,050 B.C.) in Anyang, Dushan Jade ornaments was unearthed in the tomb of the Shang kings. Jade was used to create many utilitarian and ceremonial objects, ranging from indoor decorative items to jade burial suits. Jade was considered the "imperial gem". From about the earliest Chinese dynasties until present, the jade deposits in most use were not only from the region of Khotan in the Western Chinese province of Xinjiang but also from other parts of China, like Lantian, Shaanxi. There, white and greenish nephrite jade is found in small quarries and as pebbles and boulders in the rivers flowing from the Kuen-Lun mountain range northward into the Takla-Makan desert area. River jade collection was concentrated in the Yarkand, the White Jade (Yurungkash) and Black Jade (Karakash) Rivers. From the Kingdom of Khotan, on the southern leg of the Silk Road, yearly tribute payments consisting of the most precious white jade were made to the Chinese Imperial court and there transformed into objets d'art by skilled artisans as jade was considered more valuable than gold or silver. Jade became a favorite material for the crafting of Chinese scholars objects, such as rests for calligraphy brushes, as well as the mouthpieces of some opium pipes, due to the belief that breathing through jade would bestow longevity upon smokers who used such a pipe.

Jadeite, with its bright emerald-green, pink, lavender, orange and brown colours was imported from Burma to China only after about 1800. The vivid green variety became known as Feicui (翡翠) or Kingfisher (feathers) Jade. It quickly replaced nephrite as the imperial variety of jade.


Jade horse and rider as well as a winged jade lion from the Western Han dynasty (202 BCE – 220 CE)Jade objects of early ages (Neolithic through Zhou) fall into five categories: small decorative and functional ornaments such as beads, pendants, and belt hooks; weapons and related equipment; independent sculptural, especially of real and mythological animals; small objects of probably emblematic value, including the han (ornaments, often carved in the shape of a cicada, to be placed in the mouth of the dead), and many examples of larger objects — such as the cong (a hollow cylinder or truncated cone)

The Six Ritual and Six Ceremonial Jades

The "Six Ritual Jades" originating in pre-history were the bi (a flat disk with a hole in its center), the cong, the huang (a flat, half-ring pendant), the hu and the flat, bladelike gui and zhang. The original names, value and functions of these objects have invited much speculation. The Zhou Li, itself probably compiled in the Han Dynasty, ascribes the circular bi as representing the heavens, the cong as representing the earth, the gui the east, the zhang the south, the hu the west and the huang the north. Although over two millennia old these names and symbolism were given to these objects by much later writers, who interpreted the objects in a way that reflected their own understanding of the cosmos.

The original use of the "Six Ritual Jades" became lost, with such jades becoming status symbols, with utility and religious significance forgotten. The objects came to represent the status of the holder due to the expense and authority needed to command the resources and labour in creating the object. Thus it was as the "Ceremonial Jades" that the forms of some of these jades were perpetuated. The "Zhou Li" states that a king (wang) was entitled to gui of the zhen type, dukes (gong) to the huang, marquis to gui of the xin type, earls (bo) to gui of the gong type, viscounts (zi) to a bi of the gu type and barons (nan) to a bi of the pu type.

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