Eastern Han Dynasty Emperor Kwan -Wu「光武御製」Scripted Eagle-Shape Jade Ink-stone Drops, H.15cm, L.18cm,1000grams.

Inkstone drops are also known as water droplets or book drops. Inkstone drops are one of the most indispensable items in addition to the brush, ink, paper, and inkstone for the literati for two thousand years in Chinese history.  In the Han Dynasty, inkstone drops were mostly in the shape of turtles, snakes, bears, and sheep.  The Palace Museum in Beijing has kept a 7cm long, 5.6cm high, and 1.6cm in diameter simple and unsophisticated sheep-shaped pale-tone jade inkstone drops of the Han Dynasty.

With delicate relief carving from a gem-quality mutton fat white jade, the object has the form of inkstone drops. The outline of the motifs of this spectacular artwork is depicted in black color. Viewing the overall shape presentation, it is seen that a mother eagle which carries her child eagle on the back.  The child eagle raises its head slightly, full of the sensation of happiness. Underneath the tail of the mother eager is a standing young pixie opening the mouth on the grin, showing pitiful appearance.  The mother eagle is slightly bent back her head, staring at both the child eagle and the young pixie, to be sure that they are well cared for and undoubtedly safe.

The theme of this artwork perfectly matches the Chinese philosophy of “Care for your own aged parents and extend the same care to the aged parents of others; love your own young children and extend the same love to the children of others”( from the Mencius, King Liang-hui ). According to the Book of the Later Han, Emperor Guangwu himself admires Confucianism very much, is it possible that the theme of this artwork originated from Emperor Guangwu himself? In addition, the artistic conception is in line with Emperor Guangwu’s economic policy to pay attention to people’s livelihood and people’s rest as described in the historical records.

On the surface of the carving, it is seen that the left and right wings on both sides of the jade eagle are surrounded by the motif of dragons, furthermore highlighting the royal dignity and auspiciousness of this eagle shape inkstone drops.  As far as antiquity evidence is concerned, it has differential weathering, additive crystals, and diffusive markings with dark russet.

In terms of jade culture-related historical significance, the fork- shape tail design of this eagle- shape ink-stone drops provide an explanation to the so-called handle-shaped jade nobles from the tomb of Fuhao.  The handle is itself the tail of a mysterious bird of the Shang Dynasty as shown in the eagle- shape inkstone drops.

Above all, the scripts「光武御製」has provided the most important evidence in the authentication of this object, the font style of the Guangwu imperial inscriptions of this object is perfect matches those of the jade paperweight from The Palace Chinese Antique Jades Collection USA and two Eastern Han containers from The Rushihai collection Taiwan.  Judging from the criteria of high quality of jade, artistic elegance, and historical significance, this Eastern Han eagle-shape ink-stone drops is definitely a must item for connoisseur collectors.

商代鑲銅神面紋雙耳三足玉鼎, Shang Dynasty Three-legged Double ears Jade Ding

159856967773611494 (4)本器白玉雕琢, 形制為玉鼎, 雙耳及三足以青銅為之; 雙耳呈向內反勾形, 三足上寬下尖. 玉鼎分為兩層, 兩層之間圍以銅框. 上層呈圓桶形, 上寬下窄, 表面紋飾分為兩層, 上層較窄飾淺浮雕鳳鳥, 下層飾淺浮雕神面紋.鼎部下層呈三瓣瓜形, 表面紋飾為商代風格鳳鳥紋, 補白處飾方形勾聯紋. (台灣如是齋藏品陳明杰鑑賞撰文)

The object is carved with white jade and has the form of Ding. The two ears and the three legs are made of bronze; the two ears are inwardly hooked, and the three legs are with pointed ends. The jade dong is divided into two layers with a copper frame between the two layers. The upper layer is barrel-shaped with wide upper part and narrow lower part. The surface decoration is divided into two layers. The upper layer is narrower decorated with low-relief phoenix birds, and the lower layer is decorated with low-relief gods face. The lower layer of the ding is in the shape of a three-petal melon, and the surface decoration is Shang Dynasty style phoenix, and the filler is decorated with a connected square line pattern.

Qing Dynasty Jadeite Bangle, 7.6cmx5.6cmx1.2cm, 與故宮珍藏相輝映的清代翠玉手鐲

159345884207476403Carved with natural jadeite, the object is a bangle. The jadeite itself consists of brown, green and transparent to form tricolors which elaborated to mean luck, wealth and long life. In addition to the exposed plane to identify its natural jadeite nature, the object is seen ancient tool marks to confirm it is an “A” quality Qing Dynasty bangle. (the two bangles at the bottom of the article are the Qing Dynasty bangles collection in the National Palace Museum in Taipei). 本器翠玉雕琢, 形制為手鐲, 翠玉帶有褐色, 與綠色, 透明色一起呈現, 俗稱三彩, 引伸為福, 祿, 壽之意. 本器除了呈現蠅翼現象證明為天然翡翠外, 古代刀工痕跡明顯, 實乃清代A貨手鐲, 毋庸置疑, 此外, 本器具有溫潤感. ( 本文最下方兩枚為台北故宮博物院所藏清代手鐲).