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Hair ornament with phoenix
Place of Origin: China
Date: approx. 1800-1900
Historical Period: Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Object Name: Jewelry
Materials: Nephrite
Dimensions: L. 6 1/4 in x W. 13/16 in x Thickness 1/16 in, L. 15.87 cm x W. 2.06 cm x Thickness 0.16 cm
Credit Line: Gift of R.W. Winskill in Memory of Lionel H. Pries
Department: Chinese Art
Collection: Jade And Stones
Object Number: B86J6
On Display: No

Description

Label:

A rectangular fine openwork design in light-green translucent hetian jade extends between two long thin cylinders in a balanced proportion. One cylinder tapers toward its end and then widens into a spoon shape that functioned as an earpick. The other cylinder was unfortunately broken. The openwork section portrays a phoenix flying amid scrolling floral blooms and stalks, with a large fungus on the narrow end and three cloud heads on the wide end. Wide cutting and varying incisions were perfectly selected for the openwork details.

In earlier times, the head of a jade hairpin was generally not more than one-fifth the length of the whole pin. A tendency to enlarge it began in the Song period, and heads of a third or even half the entire length have been found among jade and metal hairpins excavated from a Ming tomb in Shanghai; one silver and one gold hairpin each had a plaque-shaped head with inlaid jade decoration (Shanghai Museum 1985, plates 6–7). This design was later introduced in hair ornaments made of other materials. Qing artisans combined the rectangular plaque with an earpick on top to harmonize beauty and function (National Palace Museum, Taipei 1986, plates 154–66). In jade, Qing court artists fashioned a short earpick at one end and a long pin at the other (National Palace Museum, Taipei 1986, plate 167; Palace Museum, Beijing 1992, plates 174–80).


More Information

Exhibition History: Later Chinese Jades: Ming Dynasty to Early Twentieth Century (Tateuchi Gallery, 11/10/2007 - 8/2008)
Label:

A rectangular fine openwork design in light-green translucent hetian jade extends between two long thin cylinders in a balanced proportion. One cylinder tapers toward its end and then widens into a spoon shape that functioned as an earpick. The other cylinder was unfortunately broken. The openwork section portrays a phoenix flying amid scrolling floral blooms and stalks, with a large fungus on the narrow end and three cloud heads on the wide end. Wide cutting and varying incisions were perfectly selected for the openwork details.

In earlier times, the head of a jade hairpin was generally not more than one-fifth the length of the whole pin. A tendency to enlarge it began in the Song period, and heads of a third or even half the entire length have been found among jade and metal hairpins excavated from a Ming tomb in Shanghai; one silver and one gold hairpin each had a plaque-shaped head with inlaid jade decoration (Shanghai Museum 1985, plates 6–7). This design was later introduced in hair ornaments made of other materials. Qing artisans combined the rectangular plaque with an earpick on top to harmonize beauty and function (National Palace Museum, Taipei 1986, plates 154–66). In jade, Qing court artists fashioned a short earpick at one end and a long pin at the other (National Palace Museum, Taipei 1986, plate 167; Palace Museum, Beijing 1992, plates 174–80).


Exhibition History: Later Chinese Jades: Ming Dynasty to Early Twentieth Century (Tateuchi Gallery, 11/10/2007 - 8/2008)