The rainbow shaped design of the Hongshan culture jade fish made of nephrite (tested by Raman spectrometer)may be the origin of Hwan in later generations. The fish’s mouth opens slightly implies the cheerfulness of having water after the dry season. The body of the fish is separated from the head by two round shape incised lines which confirm the genre of Hongshan jade carving such as the jade pig head pendant seen here(Hongshan Culture, Jade Pig Head Pendant, H.3.5cm, W.4.5cm, T.2cm, A collection of Artifact Division, Culture Bureau, Tianjin City, China). The fins on both sides of the body are carved within the body instead of extending from the body.
This kind of abstract design also becomes the origin of some the fish design seen in the Western Zhou dynasty(as the one on this page: Zhou Jade Fish, L.11cm, W.1.9cm, T.0.2cm, unearthed in 1983, Graveyard #50, Zhang Jia Po, Chang An County, Shanxi Province. A collection of Chinese Academy of Social Science.). The fishtail also opens slightly and
horizontally touches the ground to be consistent with the fish head. The color of the whole object is red with some green secondary additives. There are obvious differential weathering, dissolved pits, diffusive markings, and additive crystals to further confirm its antiquity. In general, besides mastery workmanship, this item has significant historical value due to its originality in design for artifacts made in later periods such as the Western Zhou Dynasty
In terms of jade appreciation, this artifact may be looked into the following three aspects:1. Abstract design: the curvy body to symbolize rainbow which has the shape of arch or huang. This object serves the originality of Chinese jade huangs in the later period. 2. The fish fin carved inside the body instead of extending from the body is an artistic expression signifies the Hongshan carving style. 3. The open design of the fish’s mouth symbolizes the joy of having water after a long drought. This is the hope and relief after a long time suffers.4. Artistic significance: There are V shape cuts, one locates at the ending of fins on the back, the other locates at the beginning of the fins on the belly, these two cuts are the most significant artistic significance to highlight the fins to offset the embedding effect of the fins.