the translucent mottled yellow and brown stone carved in the form of a circular disc with beaded edges around the interior and exterior circle, the surface carved with dense rows of raised spirals, one side with tan calcification
A related bi is illustrated in Jessica Rawson, Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, London, 1994, pl. 15:2; a slightly larger example, in the Harvard University Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass., is published in Hai-wai yi-chen. Chinese Art in Overseas Collections. Jade II, Taipei, 1991, pl. 37; and two, in the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, are included in Alfred Salmony, Archaic Chinese Jades from the Edward and Louise B. Sonnenschein Collection, Chicago, 1952, pl. LXXIII, nos. 1 and 2. See also several included in the Special Exhibition of Circular Jade, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1995, cat. nos. 63 and 67-75.
Bi-shapes with wide central apertures are known from as early as the Neolithic period, and in Chinese literature the term bi is mentioned in the Zhou li (Rites of Zhou) of the 2nd century, where it symbolises heaven.
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