Period: Western Zhou (1046-771 BCE)
Measurements: varied, mostly less than 10 cm
Provenience: Unearthed at the Guo state cemetery, Sanmenxia
This jade mask, normally known as a jade face cover, consists of 14 celadon jade plaques placed on specific places of a deceased's face, such as the glabella, eyebrows, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, cheek, moustache, chin, etc. These jade facial features were proportionately placed to evoke realism, demonstrating the extraordinary artistic expression. In addition, the 22 trapezoid and triangular jade plaques encircling the face bear small holes for threads which could be stitched to silks to cover the face of the tomb occupant.
Made exclusively for burials, this group of jade articles have more complete structures overall, stylized shapes, and exquisite craftsmanship among the archaeologically unearthed burial jade objects of the Western Zhou period, and they were commissioned for the burials of the upper-class aristocrats, and also the predecessor of the jade burial suits of the Han dynasty.