Lot 220
  • 220


120,000 - 150,000 USD
193,750 USD
bidding is closed


thinly carved with the elongated yuan extending to a gently tapered tip, with a beveled edge on one side, the end finely incised with a band of lozenge patterns between triple lines, the nei pierced with an aperture and carved at the end with five grooves forming the teeth, the softly polished stone of a pale green tone with a distinctive band of opaque white calcification


Collection of Stephen Junkunc, III (d. 1978).

Catalogue Note

This jade ge is exceptional for the luminous translucent smoothness of the stone and sophisticated design. Moreover, the central stone inclusion, which has been expertly exploited, runs almost snake-like through the middle of the blade, contrasting strikingly with the rigid shape. As the level of workmanship involved in the creation of jade objects was an indication of its owner's importance, it is likely that the present ge belonged to a powerful person who was in the position to command such a important piece. The significance of these ceremonial blades in Shang dynasty society is illustrated by the sheer quantity and quality discovered in the tomb of Fu Hao  (d. c.1200 BC), who was a consort of King Wu Ding (r.1324-1266 BC). Fu Hao's tomb near the Shang dynasty capital Anyang in Henan province provides a glimpse into the variety in size, detail, design and excellence in craftsmanship that existed in her time, see Yinxu Fu Hao mu/Tomb of Lady Hao at Yinxu in Anyang, Beijing, 1980, pls 107-113 and Jessica Rawson, Chinese Jade. From the Neolithic to the Qing, London, 1995, pp 40-41.

A jade ge from Fu Hao's tomb displaying the same incised design of lozenges between triple lines as seen on the current piece is illustrated in Yinxu Fu Hao mu, op. cit., col. pl. 17, fig. 1 (bottom). Another example with this pattern and of similar shape and size is illustrated in S. Howard Hansford, The Seligman Collection of Oriental Art, vol. 1, London, 1957, no. B25, pl. LIX, where a nearly identical ge illustrated in Huang Chün, Yeh chung p'ien yü [Antiquities from Anyang], I, ii, 18, is mentioned. Compare also two jade ge, one from the J.T. Tai Collection sold in these rooms, 22nd March 2011, lot 61; the other from the Robert Youngman Collection, sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 3rd April, 2019, lot 3401.