A Chinese Mottled Nephrite Jade Bi Disc, Late Neolithic Period, ca. 3000 - 2000 BCE

Object No: AS2004

$2,500 USD
This fine yuan bi disc is rendered from mottled cream and pale brown nephrite jade that is marbled with fine natural inclusions of creamy-white veining. The circular form is beautifully polished on both sides and has a central aperture that tapers very slightly.

Flat jade discs with a round central hole "bi" are among the earliest surviving artifacts of China and must be considered among great ancient art form - masterpieces of the Neolithic Period. Nephrite jade from which discs were fashioned is a prime hard and strong stone, arduous to work by hand using primitive stone tools and abrasives. It's no wonder then that jade discs "bi" represent remarkable craftsmanship.

While all theories presented to date are speculative, one based upon the warring states text "Zhou Li," thought "bi" to represent symbols of heaven and were used in ancient rituals together with square tubes "cong," symbolizing the earth. "To worship heaven with a bi" explains their importance and use. "Bi" also symbolizes the status of the high social rank and sheds light on why many carved jades have been found in Zhou royal tombs. They are prominently found in varied qualities, quantities, and sizes. Their ritual prominence stretches from the most ancient of Chinese history- Hongshan/Liangzhou/Longshan (4700-2190 BCE)/ Qi Jia cultures and on to the Zhou dynasty (3000-250 BCE) onwards. Today jade "bi" are emblematic of power, status, and privileged classes and offer more complex varied meaning.

cf: Rawson, J. "Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, exhibition catalogue", The British Museum, London, 1995, pp 13ff, and Section 4. and also "Radiant Stones Archaic Chinese Jades, the Myrna and Samurai Myers collection", 2000 curated by Filippo Salviati, PhD, entry 14, Bi Disc.

Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.  Offered on museum-quality custom mount.

Dimensions: Diameter: 4 3/4 inches (12 cm)

Provenance: T. Swope private collection Hudson, NY, and accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity #11608 from Gu Fang, Senior Fellow of the Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

 

Sands of Time provides a lifetime, unconditional guarantee of authenticity and provenance. Every artifact purchased from us is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity, stating culture, provenance and age. Furthermore, we conduct due diligence to ensure the item, to the best of our knowledge, has not been illegally obtained from an excavation, architectural monument, public institution or private property. Wherever possible, reference is made to existing collections or publications.

Sands of Time Antiquities are proud to uphold the following Code of Conduct:

  • We undertake to make, to the best of our ability, all purchases in good faith.
  • We undertake not to purchase or sell objects until we have established, to the best of our ability, that such objects were not stolen from excavations, architectural monuments, public institutions or private property.
  • We will not dismember and sell separately parts of one complete object.
  • We undertake to the best of ability to keep objects together that were originally meant to be kept together.
  • As appropriate we will keep photographic records of objects prior to repair and restoration, to be honest and open by describing in writing the amount of repair and restoration undertaken to a prospective purchaser.
  • To the best of our ability, we guarantee authenticity and provenance of all objects offered for sale.
PAYMENT PLAN
Sands of Time offer a very flexible layaway payment plan for all objects offered for sale on our website.  Here's how it works:
  • Deposit:  A deposit of 15% of the total price is required upon purchase.  
  • Checkout:  Order through our website and select the "layaway" option at checkout.
  • Flexibility:   You are not restricted to a set monthly payment; pay what you wish when you wish, however your balance must be paid within six months of the order date or you risk forfeiture.
  • Title:  Property title remains with Sands of Time Antiquities, Inc. until payment is made in full.
  • Shipment:  Once payment is complete, we will ship your order by the next business day.  

Should you cancel your layaway purchase, a 15% restocking-fee will apply. If you exchange or trade-up the objet purchased while it is on layaway, the restocking fee for the original purchase will not apply.  If you would like to take advantage of our layaway system or would like to discuss an alternative option that better suits your budget, please contact us via e-mail or call 1-202-342-0518. 

You may also like

Recently viewed