Cong Shaped Jade Bead

Cong Shaped Jade Bead

Neolithic Period, Liangzhu Culture (ca. 3400 – ca. 2200 BCE)
Height: 2.7 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 bead is shaped exactly like a Cong (see cat. no. 1A) in miniature. Square in cross- section with a round perforation running the length of the jade, the bead is cylindrical at both ends where the square registers end. The bead is decorated with two registers, consisting of two striated bands below which circular eyes are carved on either side of each corner, with a bar-shaped mouth underneath. The bead is carved from grey-green jade, which has been almost completely altered.
Rawson, in her book, Chinese Jade, suggests that this kind of bead was used “in conjunction with ceremonial axes with fittings on the shafts” (p. 140). Rawson cites tombs where such beads were found in close proximity to axes, such as the yue (cat. no. 1G).
A similar, but smaller and more stylized bead is published in Rawson, 1995, number 5:2. Another similar but larger bead, with two registers of decor, was excavated in Jiangsu Province in 1986 see Compendium of Chinese Jades, vol. 1, number 225.
Reportedly discovered in Zhejiang Province.