Draft catalogue entry (no. 39) for S2012.9.165 for the catalogue of the Singer collection (1970--90); by Louisa Fitzgerald Huber
Zoomorphic Head with Horns and Crests
Neolithic period, Shang 商 dynasty, 2nd millennium BCE
Height 6.6 cm (2 9/16 in)
This impressive zoomorphic head is shaped from a thick chunk of jade in such a way that the two flat planes of the face extend at obtuse angles from the vertical median at the center. The contours of the horns at the top of the head and the broad planes of the crests rising to either side beyond them remain in a rough and unfinished state. The surfaces are smoothly polished and left undecorated. The curvature of the reverse side, which is like the inner wall of a cylinder, along with the angularity of the head at the front, suggests that the piece may have been fashioned from the corner of a large cong. The jade is translucent gray green with streaks of blackish-brown matrix. Small patches of soil and cinnabar are evident, especially within the grooves remaining from the sawing process.
Published: Alfred Salmony, Chinese Jade through the Wei Dynasty (New York: Ronald Press, 1963), pl. 2: 4.
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