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Lot 229. An extremely rare green and russet jade bird-form hair ornament, Neolithic period, Late Shijiahe CultureHeight 3⅛ in., 8 cm. Lot sold: 40,320 USD (Estimate: 20,000 - 30,000 USD). © Sotheby's 2022

ProvenanceChristie's New York, 4th June 1992, lot 177.

Note: Hair ornaments, such as the present example, are believed to have been used to secure a Shamen’s hair and likely further served a ritualistic function in facilitating the Shamen’s dialogue with the heavens. Similar ornaments have been attributed to late Shijiahe culture, circa 2300 BC, a branch of the Yi clan who worshiped the birds. Scattered across in the northeast of the Shandong Peninsula, they later moved to the middle reaches of the Yangzi River, bringing bird-worshipping practices to the region. Compare a closely related example in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Art in Quest of Heaven and Truth- Chinese Jades through the Ages, Taipei, 2012, pl. 4-5-11. Further examples sold at auction include two sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, the first, 28th November 2017, lot 2721; the second, 26th November 2019, lot 2753. 

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, New York, 23 March 2022