Throckmorton Fine Art
Timed Auction

Liangzhu: Ritual Objects at the Dawn of China’s Jade Age

Thu, May 19, 2022 12:00AM EDT - Fri, Jun 3, 2022 05:00PM EDT
Lot 43

Cong (Ts'ung) Prismatic Cylinder with Face Engraving, Late Neolithic Period, Liangzhu Culture (3200 - 2300 BCE)

Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$2,000 $50
$5,000 $100
Jade, H: 2 3/8 in. W: 4 5/8 in. Th: 3/16 in.


Dr. Elizabeth Childs-Johnson and Gu Fang write of this work in a catalog published by Throckmorton Fine Art, Inc. in 2012 on occasion of the exhibition entitled: Liangzhu Late Neolithic Jades: This small-scale piece of architectonic sculpture in nephrite jade is defined as a Cong, a type of prismatic cylinder identified in excavations dating to the Liangzhu Culture of the Late Neolithic Period. The stone is a discolored dusty brown to white, yet it preserves in patches an original pale blue to green hue. This jade implement is symbolic as determined by its form and décor. The form is standardized as an internal cylinder that peaks in collars at the top and bottom ends. The jade carries a skirt of symmetrically distributed triangular protrusions at four cardinal points, rising and descending up and down the exterior. These corner protrusions in outline create a square if viewed from above or below. Twenty-four images in six levels appear in individual cartouches. Each is filled with the abstract face of the semi-human symbol. This semi-human is rendered frontally with and simply in totemic-like fashion as a face with two incised circles symbolizing eyes, a raised flattened oval signifying a mouth, and horizontally striated bands at the top representing a headdress. (Childs-Johnson, Gu 41)