About China’s Neolithic Jade Disc "Bi"
Flat jade discs with a round central hole "bi" are among the earliest surviving artifacts of China and must be considered among great ancient art forms – masterpieces of the neolithic period.
Nephrite jade from which discs were fashioned is a prime hard and strong stone, arduous to work by hand using primitive stone tools and abrasives. It’s no wonder than that jade discs "bi" represent remarkable craftsmanship.
While all theories presented to date are speculative, we can forward one based upon the Warring States text Zhou li (Rites of Zhou), that "bi" are thought to represent symbols of heaven and were used in ancient rituals together with square tubes (cong) symbolizing the earth. "To worship heaven with a bi" explains their importance and use. "Bi" also symbolize status of high social rank and sheds light on why many carved jades have been found in Zhou royal tombs. They are prominently found in varied qualities, quantities and sizes. Their ritual prominence stretches from the most ancient of Chinese history- Hongshan/Liangzhu/Longshan (4700-21900 BCE)/ Qi Jia cultures and on to the Zhou dynasty (3000-250 BCE) onwards.
Today jade "bi" are emblematic of power status and privileged classes and offer more complex, varied meaning. Please refer to these excellent publications: Jessica Rawson, Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, exhibition catalogue, The British Museum, London, 1995, pp.13ff. and Section 4. and also Radiant Stones Archaic Chinese Jades, the Myrna and Samual Myers collection, 2000, curated by Filippo Salviati, Ph D, entry 14, Bi disc.
Each jade is accompanied by our lifetime guarantee of authenticity. In addition many jades have been personally examined and approved by Chinese jade specialists such as Mr. Gu Fang, Senior Fellow of the Institute of Archeology Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
Douglas Schneible poses with Mr. Gu Fang on his visit to Vermont, USA
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Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity & Certificate of Authenticity Each painting that you purchase will be registered in your name and you will recieve a certificate of authenticity signed by dreamstone author and lecturer, Douglas Schneible with a description of your painting and English translation of any inscribed Chinese poetry or description. This guarantee never ends.
Past Exhibitions: Many of the following Chinese works of art were exhibited during Asia week in New York, at the Fuller building during March 2008 at the Zabriskie Gallery, fourth floor or during March 2006 at the Hutton Gallery, sixth floor, or during March/April 2005 at the Neuhof Gallery, fourth floor, or during March/April 2004 at the Doris Leslie Blau Gallery, third floor, 41 East 57 Street, NY, NY 10022.
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