Henan Museum
Celodan Jade Bird-shaped Pendant
Edit: acf
Time: 2024-07-04 09:59:03
Period: Western Zhou (1046-771 BC)
Provenance: No.2001 burial pit of the Guo State cemetery at Sanmenxia city.
Measurements: H.2.5 cm, W.2.4 cm

Being translucent with pale bluish-white (qingbai) color, the pendant, is shaped as a standing bird, which is perched on a single leg, with the prominent shoulders, folded wings, a downward tail, rounded eyes, and a straight beak under which is a perforation. Overall, carved with the incising technique, the pendant was incised with the identical patterns on the obverse and reverse sides in a “great slope” way. The craftsmanship and the form indicate that the pendant bears the typical characteristics of the middle Western Zhou period.

During the late Shang dynasty, the zoomorphic patterns were popular, the bird-patterned jade articles thrived, which were exemplified by the rich delicate examples uncovered from the Yin Ruin of Anyang, and the forms came to being diversified at the time. By following the legacies of the Shang dynasty, the bird-shaped jade articles of the early Western Zhou period are characterized by imbuing with majesty and mystery; and the birds began to evolved into the “wide, flat, robust” forms, without the mystic elements of Shang dynasty in the following middle Western Zhou period, featuring rusticity and simplicity as the mainstream; during the late Western Zhou dynasty, the styles of the early-middle Western Zhou period were roughly carried on, some evolved into the rounded, irregular forms from the regular geometrical ones.