Lot 7. Two jade dragons, Neolithic Period, Liangzhu and Hongshan Cultures, 4.2cm (1 3/4in) and 3.7cm (1 3/8in) wide (2). Estimate HK$70,000 - 100,000 (US$9,000 - 13,000). Sold for HK$ 475,000 (€54,505). Photo: Bonhams.
Each thickly carved in the shape of a circular ring resembling a stylised coiled dragon with the horns, eyes and snout subtly depicted in relief, the larger stone smoothly polished, and of pale green tone suffused with buff inclusions, the other of dark olive-green tone mottled with black inclusions.
Provenance: The larger dragon: Kalam Cheung, Hong Kong
The smaller dragon: Acquired from the distinguished Hong Kong art dealer Lai Loy (1926-2012) in 1978
The Songzhutang collection, nos.7 and 86
Published and Illustrated: T.Fok, The Splendour of Jade: The Songzhutang Collection of Jade, Hong Kong, 2011, pl.7 (the larger dragon)
Note: The coiled dragon was highly significant to the Hongshan people as demonstrated in the large numbers found in tombs. Although the Hongshan Culture did not influence the later Neolithic societies directly, many aspects were transferred to the Liangzhu Culture.
Compare two smaller jade dragons in the shape of a ring, the dragon heads similarly carved in relief, late Songze to early Liangzhu Culture, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Art in Quest of Heaven and Truth: Chinese Jades through the Age, Taipei, 2012, p.55, pls.4-5-6 and 4-5-7. For another related example of a ring-shaped jade dragon from the Neolithic period, Liangzhu Culture, see one excavated from tomb no.8 at the Luodun site in Changshu, Jiangsu Province, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Jades Unearthed in China 7: Jiangsu, Shanghai, Beijing, 2010, p.20.
Bonhams. THE SONGZHUTANG COLLECTION OF EARLY JADES from the Neolithic Period to the Yuan Dynasty, 30 May 2017, 14:00 HKT - HONG KONG, ADMIRALTY