Archive | August, 2012

The Face of Glory

Jade belt buckle, China, Han Dynasty, Length: 3 1/8 inches. I recently purchased two exceptional jade belt pieces, which feature monster faces straight from your worst night mares.  Incredible quality, beautifully carved with incised surface decoration, they represent the best of Chinese archaic jade carving.  While the leading expert dates them the the Yuan, Ming period, 14th to 16th Century, another scholar, and myself, see them as Han Dynasty, somewhere before 0 B.C., or just after.  The Han Dynasty lasted for 400 years, from 206 B.C. to 220 A.D. with an interregnum at about from 9 to 23 A.D. when a regent took power as emperor, Wang Mang. Later jades, just do not have the quality and intensity you find in Archaic jades, which era ends with the Han Dynasty.  On the surface of both are incised lines of a type you find starting in the Eastern Chou through the Han Dynasty, but not after.  So to my mind, these are Han Dynasty. Jade belt buckle, China, Han Dynasty, Length: 3 inches. While apotropaic, intended […]

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