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Lot 1003


Estimated Value:

1.000 € - 1.500 €



China, Neolithic, Liangzhu Culture
4,6 x 4,5 x 3,1 cm
The thick-walled cong carved in a square form, the sides carved with a stylised mask at each of the four corners, each mask formed of two long bars above a shorter bar representing the hair and nose, flanked by two incised rounded eyes, the stone with a glossy beige-grey tone with some dark green inclusions.
Important Austrian private collection, acquired in the 1980s
Publ. Zeileis, "Selected Chinese Jade from Seven Millennia," 1994, no. 28, pp. 32-33
The present cong displays the distinctive characteristic of Liangzhu culture cong vessels, with a square outer section around a circular inner part and decorated with stylised masks neatly arranged on each of the four corners.
One interpretation of the function of cong is that it symbolised the earth. Although the precise meaning and use of the cong is not entirely clear, it was found in extensive numbers in Liangzhu tombs and is believed to be of great significance.
Compare with two archaic jade vessels, cong, unearthed in Zhejiang, Liangzhu Culture, which are illustrated by Gu Fang in The Complete Collection of Jades Unearthed in China: Zhejiang, Beijing, 2005, pp.105-106; see another similar example excavated in Luzhuang, Zhejiang Province, now in the Nanjing Museum, illustrated in liangzhu wenhua yuqi, Hong Kong, 1989, no. 38; compare also with a related archaic jade vessels, cong, with two sections, which was sold by Bonhams Hong Kong, 29 May 2018, lot 4
Few very small chips to edges, stand partly chipped