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110

A jade cong, Neolithic period, Liangzhu culture | 新石器時代良渚文化 獸面紋玉琮

A jade cong, Neolithic period, Liangzhu culture | 新石器時代良渚文化 獸面紋玉琮

A jade cong, Neolithic period, Liangzhu culture | 新石器時代良渚文化 獸面紋玉琮

A jade cong,

Neolithic period, Liangzhu culture

新石器時代良渚文化 獸面紋玉琮


of short cylindrical form with a square cross-section, the sides divided into two registers, carved with a pair of confronting stylised human masks at each corner, each mask comprising two horizontal striated bars above a shorter oblong bar forming the nose and two faintly incised circles forming the eyes


h. 4.7 cm

A minor dent (approx. 1cm) near one corner. The stone with original inclusions and veining, with occasional minuscule losses along the veining. Occasional insignificant nibbling and bruising to the extremities.


一角附近有一輕微凹痕,約1公分。帶天然綹紋、含沁。綹紋處偶有小損。邊角處有輕微磕碰。


"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."

Collection of Mr and Mrs Richard C. Bull.

Sotheby's New York, 6th December 1983, lot 176.


Richard C. Bull 伉儷收藏

紐約蘇富比1983年12月6日,編號176

Anthology of Chinese Art: Min Chiu Society Silver Jubilee Exhibition, Hong Kong, 1985, cat. no. 190.


《中國文物集珍:敏求精舍銀禧紀念展覽》,香港,1985年,編號190

Anthology of Chinese Art: Min Chiu Society Silver Jubilee Exhibition, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1985-86.


《中國文物集珍:敏求精舍銀禧紀念展覽》,香港藝術館,香港,1985-86年

The Liangzhu culture in the Yangtze River Delta, which flourished from the late 4th to the end of the 3rd millennium BC, was one of the most prominent Neolithic Chinese civilizations. Among the large variety of Liangzhu artefacts, cong – tubular jades with a central perforation – stand out as iconic of this culture. They were made for the most prestigious ranks in the society. Although the original meanings of cong were lost following the decline of the Liangzhu culture, their form continued to fascinate generations of collectors, connoisseurs, scholars and artisans for centuries. The importance of cong in the history of Chinese art therefore cannot be overstated.


The earliest cong have the form of a circular bangle with a single tier of zoomorphic masks. The rectangular form soon took over and the motif became more complex, often featuring a crowned human figure, perhaps a shaman, on top of an animal mask with protruding goggled eyes. Examples with alternating registers of stylised human faces and animal masks suggest that the motif seen on the present cong represents the face of the shaman and the striated bands probably symbolise the headdress. Towards the dusk of the Liangzhu civilization, these elaborate, fine engravings slowly disappeared and simpler designs appeared, while at the same time taller cong with multiple rows of faces were made.


A slightly taller cong with two tiers of faces was excavated from Fanshan, no. M14:181, now in the Liangzhu Museum, Hangzhou, and included in Liangzhu and Ancient China: The 5000 Year Civilization Demonstrated by Jades, Palace Museum, Beijing, 2019, cat. no. 11, together with a larger two-tiered example with a patina similar to that of the present example, inscised on the interior in the Qianlong period with an imperial poem, cat. no. 198. 


The arrangement of the confronting rows of faces on the present cong is highly unusual and no other example appears to be published. However, compositional deviation is known in the Liangzhu culture; a brown jade two-tiered example carved with animal masks above the row of shamen, also later inscribed with an imperial poem by the Qianlong Emperor, is preserved in the Palace Museum, Beijing (ibid., cat. no. 199).


長江下游環太湖流域良渚文明,公元前約三千多年至二千年盛極一時,為後世留下不少文化遺產,誠最重要

的中國新石器時代文化之一。綜觀良


用。玉琮原來的象徵與用途,相信早已隨良渚文化的衰落而殞滅,但往後數千年,多少藏家、學者、藝匠慕其式、研其義、續其製。良渚雖歿,玉琮存世,在中國藝術歷史舞台上穩佔要席,源遠流長。


玉琮雛型,採手觸之式,呈圓形,飾單層獸面紋,巨目圓睜,尖牙咧嘴。玉琮外廓後漸趨正方,圖案也更為繁複,羽冠神人,下有獸面,圓目微凸,口鼻滿綴卷曲細紋。觀神人獸面交替為飾之玉琮,可悉此器上所飾應屬神人之臉,額上橫紋或象徵其羽冠。到了良渚文化晚期,出現較多如此品的多層玉琮,圖案的陰刻細線較少,面紋更趨簡約。


雙層玉琮,反山遺址發掘有見,略較此高,編號M14:181,現藏杭州良渚博物館,收入《良渚與古代中國:玉器顯示的五千年文明》,故宮博物院,北京,2019年,編號11,並刊另一尺寸較大的雙層玉琮,玉質、包漿均與此相類,器內陰刻乾隆御製詩文,編號198。 此玉琮兩層飾紋呈水平對稱,正反神人臉容上下對照,極為罕有,未見有類例著錄。然神人獸面紋的佈局本非一成不變,如北京故宮博物院藏褐色雙層玉琮,獸面在上,神人在下,與一般設計迥異。該琮內也鐫乾隆御製詩句,出處同上,編號199。