After examining this piece over a period of time I think this is a carving of a mother and kitten cat. Alternatively they could be chilongs - baby dragons actually. They are wrapped around each and are pressed up against one another chin to chin. They look like cats but may be the mythological chilongs.
The carving is 360 degrees. The piece measures about 1 1/2" in diameter and is about 1/2" high. It feels very smooth and comfortable in the hand. The color is the same throughout with some of the incised areas that define the eyes and other features showing some accumulation of color (dust) over the years. You can enlarge all the photos to see those details. This piece of jade has a very good, translucent quality to it.
We purchased this from an antique dealer who early in her career was working as an apprentice for a dealer of very fine antique orientalia. She was given this piece in the 1970's for doing extra duty taking care of the dealer's ailing wife. While she always cherished this item, she is now getting older and is no longer actively in the business. She invited me to purchase several pieces of antique jade and we were thrilled to be able to obtain this one.
This piece dates from 1700s-1800. It's a fabulous piece. A similar single cat recently sold on ebay for over $2000.00. This is far better. That one had color blemishes. This one doesn't.
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Item ID: twt2492
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