Jade Trapezoidal Plaque

Jade Trapezoidal Plaque

Neolithic Period, Liangzhu Culture (ca. 3400 – ca. 2200 BCE)
Length: 7.6 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 plaque, trapezoidal in shape, has a short horizontal protuberance, which is perforated twice. The main body of the plaque has splaying sides that step inward toward the lower protuberance, while the upper edges flare out. The top of the plaque has two protrusions, one on either side, and a small ridge in the center. Underneath the ridge, a quatrefoil-shaped hole was drilled from both sides. The plaque is worked flat and smooth on both sides, with all edges carefully squared off, except for those of the horizontal protuberance. Carved from brown and grey jade, the plaque has mostly altered to a creamy white.
Plaques such as this were most likely an ornament, meant to attach to something perishable through the horizontal protuberance. Yang Xiaoneng mentions that they could have been part of a headdress or attached to a garment, see p. 126.
Some plaques have extensive incised decoration, and the shape of the plaques seems to relate to the mask decor. However, many plaques retain the shape but have no incised decor.
A very similar plaque also with a quatrefoil-shaped perforation is published in Zhongguo meishu quanji, Gongyi meishu bian, vol. 9, number 31. Two other similar plaques without incised decoration are published in A Compendium of Chinese Jades, vol. 1, numbers 262 and 263. For a plaque with incised decor, see Yang Xiaoneng , number 32b.
Reportedly discovered in Zhejiang Province.