The rainbow shape 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 conform 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 fish tail 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 is 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 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 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 long drought. This is the hope and relief after long time suffers.
紅山文化玉魚, L. 32cm, H. 22cm, 3000g。 本器玉魚造型, 狀似彩虹, 微张的鱼嘴象征其久旱得水之欢愉, 头部与身体系以两条圆弧形的阴线隔开,鳍的造型采抽象手法, 在鱼背及鱼腹上以阴线表示,鱼尾张开与地面平行, 并与头部对称. 本件玉质经拉曼光谱测定为天然软玉, 全器呈红色, 差异风化,溶蚀孔, 扩散晕沁色及次生长晶体明显.本器无论刀工或钻孔方式, 均符合红山文化特征。