3

Lot 4. A chicken-bone jade cylindrical tube, cong, Western Zhou Dynasty (1050-771 BC); 8.9cm (3 1/2in) diamEstimate HK$ 100,000 - 150,000 (€11,000 - 17,000)Sold for HK$ 6,880,000 (€ 818,034). Photo: Bonhams.

Of short cylindrical square section, decorated with stylised faces incised with small eyes and protruding large noses on the four angled corners, the opaque stone of chalky white colour with grey specks. 

NoteAlthough their exact function and meaning are still unclear, according to the Zhouli (a Han reconstruction of a lost Zhou dynasty text), jade burial practice during the Zhou dynasty included placing a bi disc, a symbol of heaven, on the chest, and a cong, a symbol of Earth, beneath the body. See M.Sullivan, The Arts of China, California, 1999, p.39.

Bonhams. THE SZE YUAN TANG COLLECTION OF CHINESE JADES, 11:00 HKT, HONG KONG, ADMIRALTY