Lot 477. A large pale grey jade disc, bi, Han dynasty, 2nd-1st century BC; 8¼ in. (21 cm.) diam. Estimate USD 5,000 - USD 7,000. Price realised USD 20,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2008.
Both sides with a plain inner and outer border, with a wide band of faceted comma spirals carved in low relief within an hexagonal criss-cross gridwork set within a striated border, and an outer band carved with outward-facing bovine masks with long, scrolling horns, the pale grey stone with some black and russet markings, fitted cloth box.
Property from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm E. Mcpherson.
Provenance: Acquired in the early 1970s.
Note: A group of silmilarly carved bi, dated c. 122 BC, were found on the lower part of the jade suit of the King of Nanyue at Xinggang, Guangzhou, Guangdong province. See J. Rawson, Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, London, 1995, p. 73, fig. 67, and Gu Fang, The Complete Collection of Unearthed Jades in China, vol. 11, Beijing, 2005, no. 51. Compare two other similar bi illustrated by the Institute of Archaeology, Excavations of the Han Tombs at Mancheng, vol. II, Beijing, 1980, pl. CCX, figs. 1 and 2.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics And Works Of Art, New York, 19 March 2008.