Shang Dynasty,Jade Eagle, H. 14cm, W. 12cm. 500grams



The artifact is made of mutton white jade( refractive index has been tested by GIA Duplex II Refractometer: reading 1.61 ). Adopting the motif seen in many jade artifacts in the Longshan Culture (Jade Kwuei with eagle motif, L.30.5cm,W.7.2cm, T.1.05cm, acollection of The National Palace Museum), this gracious eagle is seen low relief lines with the carving style of pressing surface special twisting motifs which are believed the symbol of Ko Halberd Axe and the shield symbol as seen on the tiger L.13.3cm unearthed in 1976 from Fuhow graveyard, a collection of Archaeologistt Instuitute of the China Academy of Social Science) (Jade plaque w/Eagle and Priest heads,H.9.1cm,W.5.2cm, T.0.9cm, a collection of the Palace Museum. ).It is a top grade art work in terms of design, carving workmanship that it is no doubt one of the most beautiful jade eagles in the Shang dynasty even in the Chinese jades. The archaic evidences of differential weathering,cleaving veins and diffusive marking are obvious to prove its genuineness. In addition, it has similar exterior aging appearance as the H.10.3cm, W.4.3cm, unearthed from Graveyard No. 63 of marquis Jin in early Western Zhou Dynasty in Beichao Village, Chiowl County, Sanxi Province, A collection of Shanxi Museum.


The similarity in eagle design between this jade and the one shown in on the Longshan kwuei has expressed the heritage of the Longshan culture to the Shang Dynasty. The ko and shield motifs shown on this eagle have provided the evidence that the worship and warfare are the most important events of the nation( 國之大事, 在祭祀與戎) in the Shang Dynasty. This eagle has served as a spiritual symbol of which the Shang people who believed the phoenix eagle is their ancestor( In Chinese 玄鳥之後 ).


Appraisal Indexes:

  1. quality of jade: 10
  2. rareness: 9
  3. historical and cultural significance: 9
  4. workmanship: 10
  5. size: 8
  6. condition: 9
  7. Provenance: Asian Private collector’s collection