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Arte Orientale Bologna

Jade Bi disc with dragon


Natural Jade Bi disc with dragons carved in low relief.

Dim. Diameter: 7 cm.

From Wikipedia:
A bi is a flat jade disc with a circular hole in the centre. Neolithic bi are undecorated, while those of later periods of China, like the Zhou dynasty, bear increasingly ornate surface carving (particularly in a hexagonal pattern) whose motifs represented deities associated with the sky (four directions) as well as standing for qualities and powers the wearer wanted to invoke or embody.

As laboriously crafted objects, they testify to the concentration of power and resources in the hands of a small elite.

Later traditions associate the bi with heaven, and the cong with the earth.

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