Neolithic Period, Liangzhu Culture (ca. 3400 – ca. 2200 BCE)
Height: 16.8 cm
A Distinguished Chinese Collector Important North American Collector
Exhibited & Published:
Weisbrod 30 Years, An Anniversary Exhibition, Spring 2002, Weisbrod Chinese Art, Ltd., New York, no. 1M.
The solid, cylindrical object tapers toward the top, where incised lines decorate what must be the handle of this tool. The very top flares slightly to a knob, but appears to be partially broken off, leaving a rough, unpolished area. The base is flat and circular. The jade has mostly altered to a creamy white, but diagonal striations of the original green- grey and light brown remain. The surface is polished to a high sheen with barely visible saw-lines running horizontally.
It is not certain for what purpose this object was produced. Some scholars have called it a pestle, while others have claimed it is a “symbol of man’s power.” Most likely, the former explanation is correct. However, the tool shows little sign of wear, except for the broken top edge. Therefore, this object was most likely used only in ritual, if at all.
It is possible that this object was carved from the jade remaining after drilling a hole through the length of the cong (cat. no. 1A).
It is known that beads were fashioned from jade left over from the production of larger objects, such as the small circular remnants from bi discs (see cat. nos. 1B-D). If this theory proves true, it could shed new light on the use and symbolism of the cong .
Reportedly discovered in Zhejiang Province.