1. ("JR," undated Folder Sheet note) Quite unlike the mainstream of bird carvings, this small jade has an unusual profile and a rare form of relief decoration. The major part of the carving represents the bird's wing. Above the wing the neck of the bird and the small head with wide open beak stretch out at an awkward angle. A small tail and a neatly formed claw are also oddly placed: they hang down beside the wing. Banded feathers on the wings are indicated by neat ridges terminating in characteristic small hooks. Similar lines in relief describe the eyes and the detailed plumage on neck, tail and claw. The lower part of the jade seems to be broken, perhaps resulting in the loss of the tail and a foot. The stone is a pearly gray-green with white and darker markings.
A number of pendants and other carvings, often decorated with birds, are embellished with narrow ridges terminating in hooks, as illustrated on this bird. One example comes from the tomb of Fu Hao 婦好 (Zhongguo shehui kexueyuan kaogu yanjiusuo 中國社會科學院考古研究所, Yinxu Fu Hao mu 殷墟婦好墓 [Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, 1980], color pl. 32:3). Wu Hung 巫鴻 has suggested that such carvings come from eastern or southeastern China (Wu Hung, "Bird Motifs in Eastern Yi Art," Orientations 16, no. 10 , pp. 34--36).
2. (Jeffrey Smith per Keith Wilson, July 1, 2008) Jewelry added as secondary classification.
3. (Susan Kitsoulis per Keith Wilson, June 15, 2010) Title changed from "Pendant (pei 佩): Bird" to "Pendant in the form of a bird"; Object name from "Pendant: bird" to "Jewelry."
4. (Najiba Choudhury per Keith Wilson, August 17, 2016) Constituent added "Shijiahe culture"; period changed from "Shang dynasty" to "Late Neolithic period"; date changed from "ca. 1300-1100 BCE" to ca. "2500--2000 BCE"; title changed from "Ornament in the form of a bird, fragment" to "Ornament (shi 飾) in the form of a bird, fragment".
Usage conditions apply