Sanxingdui Culture (1600 BCE -221 BCE ) Jade

In 1929, more than four hundred pieces jade artifacts were found by a farmer called Yann Dao Chun in the Kwanhan City in Szechwan Province in China. Since then, excavations have continued by local archaeologists and the mystery of the Ancient Sze Kingdom has started to attract the curious minds worldwide. In 1986, several thousand pieces of gold, bronze, jade artifacts, ivories have been unearthed in Sanxindui by local archeologists. The mystery of the Sanxingdui Culture has invited many conjectures. Some source claimed that Sanxingdui culture was the culture of Emperor Zen in 3000 BCE. Some sources believed that it covered the period of the Dynasties of Xia, Shang, and Western Zhou to Warring States.wkgbzfrqryyautvraaplm1x-244332

Most jade artifacts from the Sanxingdui Culture are made of nephrite and are extraordinarily and elaborately carved. The variety of jade artifacts is rich. In addition to individual ritual jades such as jade congs, zhangs, kweis, there are many jade heads with protrude eyes and wide ears. In particular, there are jade priests holding ritual jades of bi, cong, kwei and huang. There are also jade knights holding sword standing on the jade cong decorated with open work style jade elephant heads. The shapes of ritual jades are identical as those of the Shang Dynasties through Warring States. Researches wonder whether the Sanxingdui Culture has influence on those of the Shang Dynasty or the ritual jades of Shang Dynasty has influence on the Sanxingdui jades. The Sanxingdui jade artifacts of priests and knights with displayed prominent pupils and wide ears have invite lots of 65399-btexplanations without any consensus.  Some jade heads even have rectangular cubic gadget similar to the antenna of flying objects. No wonder that many people believed that they are related to other cultures not originated in China, even some people claimed that they are from an extraterrestrial civilization. Some Sanxingdui Culture jade such as jade heads has scripts of which the meanings are unknown yet. The meanings of those scripts will absolutely help to explore the mystery of Sanxingdui Culture. As far as the ivories are concerned, researches have put an effort to find out where were these ivories from. Some claimed that these were the trade items from Southeast Asia states in ancient time. However, from the jade figurine that has the elephant cong suggested that the elephants were local.  In a nutshell, many mysteries of the Sanxingdui Culture need the clues from the artifacts to explore.

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Jade Statues Set with Priests Holding Bi, Cong, Huang & Kuei, H.45cms

This is the set of four pieces. Each one is composed with five separate pieces which are the priest’s body above from the legs, the two legs, the stand with backward angle, the  phoenix headstand with four faces, and the open work base. The exaggerate presentation of protruding eyes of the priest and the phoenix had the stick design to imply the powerful eyesight. The big butterfly wind style ears of the priest may have the implication of powerful hearing. The dress, the carving style of thin incised line with cloud motifs, the slant carving of thunder and the open work with a rope motif all confirm the typical art genre of the Warring States.  Made of white Hetian nephrite with additive crystal, dissolved pits,differential weathering and diffusive markings, coupled with historical significance, cultural importance, artistic implication and mastery workmanship( please be noted that the multiple contours and the detail of curvature shown in the design of the shoulder has explained the mastery workmanship which modern copy would never know. In addition, beautiful contour surface of the phoenix on the base also explained it all), this set of jade priests is believed to be the definitive, topknot collection of the Sanxingdui Culture jade artifacts.

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

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