An important celadon and russet jade 'pig-dragon', zhulong Neolithic period, Hongshan culture | 新石器時代 紅山文化青白玉豬龍
Property from the Bei Zu collection | 北祖珍藏
Property from the Bei Zu collection
An important celadon and russet jade 'pig-dragon', zhulong
Neolithic period, Hongshan culture
of iconic form with a coiled body and superbly rendered head, subtly detailed with bulging eyes, a wrinkled snout and flared nostrils, the signature slit below the sealed lips terminated before meeting the central perforation, the neck drilled for suspension, the smoothly polished stone of pale yellowish green colour with a russet patch
8.5 cm, 3⅜ in.
Rare et important 'dragon-cochon', zhulong, en jade céladon et rouille, période néolithique, culture de Hongshan
8.5 公分， 3⅜英寸
The pig-dragon is overall very good condition.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Angus Forsyth, 'The Bei Zu Collection: Appreciation of a European Private Collection of Hongshan Jades', Art & Collection, no. 344, May 2021, pp. 164, fig. 6.
A similar light green zhulong of slightly larger size and cut open, excavated from the Niuheliang site, Jianping, Liaoning and now in the Liaoning Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, is illustrated in Guo Dashun & Hong Dianxu, Hongshan wenhua yuqi jianshang/A Study of Hongshan Culture Jades, Beijing, 2014, part 1, pl. 11; another larger one, acquired at Zhangfudian, Fushan, also in Jianping, and now preserved in the same Institute, ibid., part 3, pl. 1; the former illustrated again in Gu Fang, Zhongguo chutu yuqi quanji/The Complete Collection of Jades Unearthed in China, Beijing, 2005, vol. 2, pl. 111, together with a slightly smaller yellowish-green one, that was cut open, pl. 20, excavated at Hexi, Aohan Banner, Inner Mongolia. Another larger piece, with the slit cut open, is in the Tianjin Municipal Art Museum, illustrated in Mou Yongkang & Yun Xizheng, eds, Zhongguo yuqi quanji [Complete series on Chinese jades], vol. 1, Shijiazhuang, 1993, pl. 25. Compare also a fragmentary piece in the British Museum illustrated in Jessica Rawson, Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, The British Museum, London, 1995, p. 116, fig. 1, and two larger pig dragons, one in the Musée Guimet, Paris, the other excavated in Sanguan Dianzi, Liaoning, and today in the Liaoning Provincial Museum, illustrated in Jao Tsung-I, ‘Some Notes on the Pig in Early Chinese Myths and Art’, Orientations, vol. 19, no. 12, December 1988, pp. 39-41, figs 1 and 2, where the importance of the pig in early China discussed.
遼寧建平牛河梁出土一例，尺寸較大，缺口斷開不相連，玉色呈青白，與本品相近，現存遼寧省博物館，圖載於郭大順、洪殿旭，《紅山文化玉器鑑賞》，北京，卷1，2014年，圖版11；另一例尺寸亦較大，得自建平富山鄉張福店，現藏遼寧省博物館，前述出處，卷3，圖版1；前者亦載於古方，《中國出土玉器全集》，北京，2005年，卷2，圖版111，同書並載內蒙古敖漢旗河西出土黃青玉例，缺口不相連，圖版20。另參考一尺寸較大之例，缺口不相連，現藏天津美術館，圖見牟永抗、雲希正，《中國玉器全集》，卷1，石家莊，1993年，圖版25。另比較兩例，尺寸較大，其一現藏巴黎吉美國立亞洲藝術博物館，另一出土自遼寧三官甸子，現存遼寧省博物館，圖載於饒宗頤，〈Some Notes on the Pig in Early Chinese Myths and Art〉，《Orientations》，第19卷，第12期，1988年12月，頁39-41，圖1及2，文章論及豬在古代中國之重要意義。