Jade, in Chinese civilisations holds high value not only as a social marker but as a symbol of beauty, grace and purity. Jade has been part of Chinese civilisations from the Neolithic period and spans in importance to modern day. In Ancient civilisations it was sought after as its strength and hardness made it the ideal stone for tools and weaponry. It was further lavishly used for dress ornaments, ritual objects, and protection of the dead in tombs. During the Han Dynasty, jade became an important substance used in burial rituals. The royal family and lords were buried in jade suits with the view that the precious stone would preserve the body and soul. Jade was also thought to protect against fatigue of those alive.
Chinese Han Dynasty Jade Zoomorphic Amulet
A Chinese zoomorphic amulet carved from jade dating the Han Dynasty. The creature resembles qualities of a crab or turtle such as a smooth shell-like body. An oblong head peers out from the body and displays two large, circular eyes. A small tail can be seen from the back. The underneath of the amulet has been pierced for suspension.
Period: Han Dynasty
Provenance: Ex Asiatika-Sammlung Günther Köpping, Berlin, Germany, with small label. Pieces from the collection were sold in a European auction in the 2000s.
Condition: Very fine condition, small German label to the base along with some residue.