虺龍係戰國玉器流行的龍圖騰, Serpent-like dragon is a popular dragon motif in Warring States

《述异记》云:“虺五百年化为蛟,蛟千年化为龙,龙五百年为角龙,千年为应龙。”本文所列三件不同形制戰國風格玉器(文鎮, 玉圭, 玉劍格), 具有相同的虺龍紋飾, 頭若莽蛇, 尖耳直鬃, 口吐信, 四足, 尾巴開叉, 圖騰呈現方式尾部在上, 頭部在下.”Shu Yi Ji” says: “For five hundred years into a pre-dragon, a thousand years into a dragon, 500 years into a horned dragon, and a thousand years into a Ying dragon.” Three jade objects( jade paperweight, jade kwei, and jade sword guard) of different shapes and styles of the Warring States Period listed in this article have the same serpent-like dragon ornamentation, the head is like a snake, the pointed ears and the straight mane, the mouth has flickering tongues, there are four legs, the tail is split, the motif is presented with the tail up and the head down.

夏代牙璋, Xia Dynasty Jade Zhang, L.36cms, W.12cms, T.0.7cm

璋一般由援(鋒刃),欄(作成扉牙狀的繩索系痕部分),內(木柄鑲裝部分)組成。 器物形態當源自、鉞、一類兵器。 璋為中國古代禮器六器之一最早見於夏代二裡頭文化遺址。《周礼·春官·典瑞》:“牙璋以起军旅,以治兵守。” 郑玄 注引 郑司农 曰:“牙璋瑑以为牙。牙齿,兵象,故以牙璋发兵,若今时以铜虎符发兵。”頂端的扉牙數目與欄的扉牙數目成正比, 可能表示牙璋持有者官階的高低。本玉璋上端为兩个尖峰,中下方两边各有三锯齿,两面各有两行浅浮雕方形回纹, 全器底子極為平整, 拋光尤為細膩, 光潔鑑人. 全器有增生晶體及多處出現溶蚀孔。Carved with green tone jade, the object is a zhang with seven shape points at the end, at the lower part of the blade, two low relief carvings of rhombus circling cloud motif which is still popular in the Shang and Western Zhou Dynasties. With mastery of workmanship, this zhang is extra well polished. Antiquity evidence is several natural dissolved pits.

 

 

 

Eastern Han Dynasty seal-form paperweight, 光武御製羊脂白玉蟠龍紋文鎮. H.7cm,D.7.5cm.

文鎮又稱紙鎮,東漢許慎《說文解字》載:「鎮,博壓。」即大面積地壓住。古人席地而坐之時,在座席四角放置或石或銅的席鎮,壓住席角以免移動。「楚辭.九歌湘夫人」:「白玉兮為鎮」。古代在輕薄載體上書寫時,為避免風動、擾人行墨,常以紙鎮博壓。東漢蔡倫紙張問世後,鎮紙更是流行。其次,古人習字之初,必臨摹碑帖。臨者,依照原帖書寫;摹者,將紙覆於原帖之上摹寫。古時紙張粗糙不透,人們需將紙張緊覆,才能看清帖上筆順,鎮紙的作用便愈發重要。文鎮可稱為古代文人書房中筆墨紙硯四寶之外的第五寶。

從古玉形制功能言,古中的單節玉琮,或各種臥姿動物擺件,都有可能作為文鎮之用。  本器羊脂白玉雕琢, 形制為文鎮,文飾輪廓及銘文均以黑彩為之。圓形紙鎮上端蟠龍龍身環繞盤旋於龍身四周, 身軀劇烈扭動, 龍首昂舉,張口露齒, 氣勢威猛雄奇。 然而整體造型為圓弧狀,外緣平滑,易於手掌抓取。象徵天下蒼生之一切, 都在帝王掌握之中。 文鎮底部呈圓形施以陽線雕刻篆體”光武御製”銘文,本器光武御製銘文的字體風格,  與皇宮古玉齋所收藏玉鷹硯滴,以及台灣如是齋所收藏兩枚銅壺底部的光武御製銘文的字體風格完全吻合,此外,本器差異風化,擴散暈沁色,增生晶体等古玉跡象明顯,本器鑑定為光武御製真品值得信賴。就收藏價值而言,本器玉質潔白溫潤,器形創作意境耐人尋味,具有漢光武帝紀念價值,本器值得古玉大家之收藏,自不在話下。

According to the “Book of Chinese Etymology” of Xu Shen in the Eastern Han Dynasty, suppress broadly in a large area is called weighting. When the ancient people sat on the straw mat, they placed stone or copper pads on the four corners of the mat to hold down the corners to prevent movement. Verses of Chu: Madame Xiang has the following expression: “Use white jade for a weight.” In ancient times, when writing on thin and light material, paperweight was often used to suppress the writing material in order to avoid the wind’s disturbance.

After the advent of Cai Lun paper in the Eastern Han Dynasty, paperweight became more popular. In addition, at the beginning of the ancients’ calligraphy training, they usually copy the style of characters through rubbings. Paperweight is used to press the paper tightly in order to see the stroke style clearly.  It can be called the fifth treasure in addition to the four treasures of pen, ink, paper, and ink in the ancient scholar’s study.

As far as the form and function of Chinese antique jades, single-section jade cong, or various prone position animal ornaments can be used as a paperweight in addition to its original function.

This seal-form paperweight (the paperweight had been used before the Eastern Han Dynasty ) is made of mutton white jade (test result from gem lab: reflective reading is 1.61 ) with the carving style of the Han Dynasty. The inscription of “光武御製” on the bottom side of the paperweight has clearly indicated the item belongs to the imperial palace of Emperor Kwan Wu, the first emperor of the Eastern Han dynasty of China. The outlines and inscriptions of the decorations are all made of black color.

The paperweight has a high relief dragon carving with the body curling around its head. The imposing and majestic looking of the dragon has been vividly expressed. In addition, the round and smooth carving have made it easy for holding by hand. It symbolizes that all the livings and properties under heaven are under the emperor’s control. The font style of the “光武御製” inscription is the same as the eagle-shape jade ink-stone drops of The Palace Chinese Antique Jades Collection USA and two Eastern Han containers of two Eastern Han containers from The Rushihai collection Taiwan.   In terms of authentication, antiquity evidence includes diffusive marking, differential weathering, and additive crystal.

Judging from the criteria of high quality of jade, artistic elegance, and historical significance, this Eastern Han seal-form paperweight is definitely a favorite item for connoisseur collectors.