No Title

2006at6150 jpg l

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Acquired in 1936 (the spelunker thinks)

artist
Unknown
attributions_note
bibliography
James C. Y. Watt, 'Neolithic Jade Carving in China' in TOCS 53 (1988-1989), pp.11-26, pl. 17, 17 a. Teng Shu-p'ing, 'Mysterious Symbols on Neolithic Chinese Jade' in National Palace Museum Research Quarterly, vol.10 nr.3, Spring 1993. for discussion on neolithic jades with patterns Ming Wilson, 'Liangzhu Jades Rediscovered' in Oriental Art, Winter 1995/96, pp.2-8. Ming Wilson, Chinese Jades, 2004, no.3
collection_code
EAS
credit
Purchased with the assistance of The Art Fund, the Vallentin Bequest, Sir Percival David and the Universities China Committee
date_end
date_start
date_text
ca. 2500 BC (made)
descriptive_line
Liangzhu disc (bi) with bird pattern, Nephrite jade, circa 2500 BC
dimensions
Diameter: 32.5 cm whole piece, Diameter: 3.8 cm hole, Thickness: 1.5 cm
edition_number
event_text
exhibition_history
John Ayers and Jessica Rawson, Chinese Jade throughout the Ages (Victoria & Albert Museum 01/01/1975-31/12/1975)
gallery
China, room 44
historical_context_note
historical_significance
history_note
id
1010
label
Disc (bi) Stone Age About 2500 BC Round discs with a central hole are found in many graves. Their significance in prehistorical China is not clear but they may have been ritual objects. Carved nephrite jade Liangzhu culture, south China Museum no. A.42-1936 [2007]
last_checked
2014-08-29T19:23:07.000Z
last_processed
2014-08-29T19:23:07.000Z
latitude
36.894451
location
China, room 44, case 8
longitude
104.165649
marks
materials
materials_techniques
Nephrite jade, carved
museum_number
A.42-1936
museum_number_token
a421936
object_number
O39321
object_type
Disc (bi)
on_display
true
original_currency
original_price
physical_description
Variegated dark green and brown. Pattern consists of four groups of spirals, four in each group. Between every alternate group of spirals is a small bird with spread wings and short bifurcated tail flying in clockwise direction. One of the birds is clearly discernible but the other one is obscured by encrustations on the stone. Each spiral measures a regular 5cm, and the space between each group is evenly laid out - an indication that the pattern was very carefully executed. No ridge in the hole. An important piece for its size and pattern. It is slightly larger than the bi in the Freer Gallery with similar pattern (nr.17.79) which measures 31.8cm. The pattern is found along the slightly concave outer rims, made up of short, repeated incised lines.
place
China
primary_image_id
2006AT6150
production_note
Liangzhu culture James Watt opinon 11/6/1987: Neolithic, one of the largest known. N.B. Carved fret pattern and single bird round the outside edge; this is only third with decoration, two more are in the Freer Gallery. Stone is typical of jade from Liangzhu culture, comes from near Shanghai; impure, contains bits of nephrite. Thomas Lawton opinion 11/7/90: Concave surface of outer rim is typical, variegated nature of stone also.
production_type
public_access_description
A ‘bi’ is a flat circular slab of jade with a central hole. An ancient Chinese text entitled the ‘Zhouli’ (‘Rituals of Zhou’) describes the ‘bi’ as a ceremonial object to sacrifice to Heaven. However the ‘bi’ was made at least a thousand years before the ‘Zhouli’ was written. Its function in prehistoric times remains unknown.
related_museum_numbers
rights
3
shape
site_code
VA
slug
disc-bi-unknown
sys_updated
2013-08-17T00:00:00.000Z
techniques
title
updated
vanda_exhibition_history
year_end
-2496
year_start
-2505