Lot 820. A rare large mottled brown and greenish-beige jade bird-form pendant, Late Shang dynasty, 13th-11th century BC; 2 ½ in. (5.9 cm.) longEstimate USD 30,000 - USD 50,000. Price realised USD 62,500. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.

The pendant is possibly repurposed from a cong and is carved as a bird in flight with outspread wings and tail decorated in intaglio lines. The beak has a bull-nose perforation for suspension. The greenish-beige jade has some brown inclusions and traces of cinnabar

ProvenanceArthur M. Sackler Collections.
Else Sackler.
Elizabeth A. Sackler.

Note: The thickness and unusual, angular form of this bird pendant suggests it may have been repurposed in antiquity from a larger jade carving, possibly a cong. Compare two jade bird-form pendants which are more naturalistically carved, but with similar flattened, broad bodies and angular scrolls decorating the wings, from the late Shang dynasty tomb of Fu Hao at Anyang, Henan province, illustrated in Yinxu Yuqi (The Jades from Yinxu), Beijing, 1982, pl. 63, nos. 380 and 381, which are identified as a young swallow and cormorant, respectively.

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 13 September 2019