The Joy of Collecting Chinese Antique Jade

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According to “The psychology of collecting” By Mark B. McKinley, Ed.D.January 1, 2007″

“Everybody collects something. Whether it be photographs of a person’s vacation, ticket stubs from ballgames, souvenirs of trips, pictures of one’s children, athletes’ trophies, kids’ report cards or those who collect “junk” (pack-rats) and dispose of it in garage sales.

During the 1700s and 1800s, there were aristocratic collectors, the landed gentry, who roamed the world in search of fossils, shells, zoological specimens, works of art and books. The collected artifacts were then kept in special rooms (“cabinets of curiosities”) for safekeeping and private viewing. A “cabinet” was, in part, a symbolic display of the collector’s power and wealth. It was these collectors who established the first museums in Europe, and to a lesser extent in America…

Why do we collect things, e.g., Cracker Jack toys to manhole covers? Some people collect for investment, yet one must wonder how a penny can become worth thousands of dollars. Some collect for pure enjoyment – it’s fun. Some collect to expand their social lives, attending swap meets and exchanging information with like-minded souls.

And still other folks collect to preserve the past, but there can be a risk here. Medical scientists and anthropologists collected human remains for the purpose of a study. Yet the courts have been called into the fray as to who is the proper “owner” of the past, e.g., the Kennewick Man – archaeologists legally fight to study the bones, whereas, Native Americans legally fight to bury them.

For some people collecting is simply the quest, in some cases a life-long pursuit that is never complete. Additional collector motivations include psychological security, filling a void in a sense of self. Or it could be to claim a means to distinction, much as uniforms make the “man.” Collections could be a means to immortality or fame vis-a-vis Dr. Louis Leakey.”

Chinese antique jades contain colorful and exquisite of craftsmanship, artistic and philosophical cultural substances. Furthermore, the texture of jade gives a wonderful feeling when you touch it. The colorful appearance of the antiquity of jade gives you unlimited imagination.  The different carving styles of different periods challenge your understanding of ancient Chinese craftsmanship. It is definitely a joy to collect antique Chinese jades.

The elegance of Chinese jade will be rediscovered if jade enjoyment can be matched with the final purpose to establish a harmonious society by following the virtues of jade.IMG_2806

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戰國龍紋銘文玉文鎮, Warring States Jade Paperweight, H.7cm, W.4.3cm

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IMG_2790本器青玉雕琢, 形制為螭龍紋雙立柱文鎮, 正面施螭龍紋高浮雕, 背面陰刻篆體”孔君玉平兄正文定”.文定,或稱送定、納吉、下插定,又稱「小聘」(「大聘」則指「納徵」或「過大禮」),是古代傳統婚禮的訂婚儀式之一, 本器雙立柱意涵男女雙方雙姓聯結之意。本器古玉跡象為差異風化, 擴散暈沁色及溶蝕孔. Carved with pale tone jade, the object is a double column connected by high relief dragon carving on the front side, scripts of <孔君玉平兄正文定> incised carving appeared on the other side. The meaning of the script reads < For the engagement ceremony of Mr. Kuong>. Antiquity evidence is differential weathering, diffusive markings, and dissolved pits.

戰國糖玉玉璧, Warring States Jade Bi, D. 12.3cm, T. 0.7cm

本器糖玉雕琢, 形制為玉璧, 雙面雕琢, 紋為勾連榖紋, 榖紋由外至內, 由大至小共八層, 整面共五十列, 計四百顆, 不同於一般榖紋大小相同的玉璧. 本器古玉跡象為差異風化, 冰裂紋, 及增生晶體.Carved with sugar jade, the object is bi with an identical carving on both sides. The motif is low relief carving of connected grain sprout. The arrangement is increasing the size from the center towards the edge.  There are eight rims and fifty arrays with a total of four hundred pieces. Antiquity evidence includes differential weathering, cleaving veins, and additive crystals.