Dating to the Han Dynasty (206 BCE - 220 AD), this beautifully-carved green stone bead is a rare and wearable ancient Chinese artifact!
Measuring just over 1 3/8" in diameter, this exquisite bead is carved from a very dense hard stone which is soft celadon green in color, with small patches of calcification from burial. The design is that of swirling clouds, and the bead is carved top and bottom, with a dividing band in between. The appearance of the clouds reminds me very much of Western Zhou examples, but the age patina on the bead does not look quite that early, so I am dating it to the Han period to err on the side of caution. It well could be a very well-preserved Western Zhou example.
When I first acquired this bead, I thought that it could be nephrite jade, but it is somewhat softer than jade. The bead is very heavy for its size, and very cold to the touch, so it is a natural hardstone. The color of this bead is outstanding; it is a lovely shade of celadon blue-green, and the carving is beautifully-executed. It is hand-drilled, with extra carving at the lip of the drill holes. The hole is thick enough to thread a leather thong or silk cord through the bead, and I expect that it was originally worn as a pendant well over 2000 years ago by a Chinese lady or gentleman of great wealth and high social status.
Weighing in at 77.77 grams, this majestic bead feels truly wonderful in the hand, and has survived over two millennia in 100% intact condition, without chips, cracks or restoration! It would make an exciting addition to any collection of Chinese antiquities, and is a wearable beauty! Provenance is from my own collection of ancient jewelry, and I acquired it in 1995 from a prominent, Atlanta-based collector of Chinese jade and jewelry, now deceased. As with all of my ancient jewelry, this bead will be sold with a COA and valuation for your insurance purposes at no extra charge.
If you collect the finest in ancient Chinese artifacts or jewelry, this bead belongs in your collection! It would also make a stellar gift for any lady or gentleman fascinated with the arts of ancient China, and will be shipped in a gift box suitable for storing or giving. Do not miss this one-of-a-kind rarity; it is priced for quick sale, and USPS Priority mail shipping is FREE!
Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
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