Hongshan Culture Jade Fish, L. 32cm, H. 22cm, Weight 3000g紅山玉魚


Jade Identification:
The rainbow shape design of the Hongshan culture jade fish made of nephrite (tested by 715_lRaman 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

dscn0059horizontally 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

Jade Appreciation:

dscn0443-1In 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.


本件紅山玉魚的彩虹造型, 微張的魚嘴象徵其得水之歡愉, 頭部與身體系以兩條圓弧形的陰線隔開,鰭的造型采抽象手法, 在魚背及魚腹上以陰線表示,並非從魚身向外延伸, 魚尾張開與地面平行, 並與頭部對稱. 本件玉質經拉曼光譜測定為天然軟玉, 全器呈紅色, 差異風化,溶蝕孔, 擴散暈沁色及次生長晶體明顯.本器無論刀工或鑽孔方式, 均符合牟永抗所認為的紅山文化特徵. (孔壁的螺絲紋寬窄、細密不均,高低起伏也很大,溝窪兩面並不對稱,不僅如此,即使是任何單面,其線條也不會和諧一致。 牟老說這是鑒別真假紅山玉最為關鍵的點。)

Appraisal Indexes:
1. quality of jade: 8
2. rareness:9
3. historical and cultural significance: 8
4. workmanship:8
5. size:10
6. condition: 10

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