Our striking reproduction is based on a beautifully carved jade bi disc from the Eastern Zhou dynasty in the Museum’s collection.
Serpentine natural stone (color may vary), with a rustic metal base. 8'' diam. disc: 13''H x 8 3/4''W x 2 3/8''D; 6'' diam. disc: 10''H x 7''W x 2 3/8''D.
- Serpentine natural stone (color may vary), with a rustic metal base
- 8'' diam. disc: 13''H x 8 3/4''W x 2 3/8''D; 6'' diam. disc: 10''H x 7''W x 2 3/8''D
Art HistoryThese flat, round discs with an opening in the middle are known from China’s remote antiquity, the earliest examples dating from Neolithic times. They are almost always made from jade, the mineral nephrite, which the Chinese hold in the highest esteem among all hard stones. Their function in the Neolithic age still remains enigmatic. Considering the rarity of the material, the investment of labor, and the superb workmanship, they are believed to be objects for rituals and also symbols of wealth and prominent social status. During the Eastern Zhou dynasty (770–256 B.C.) they were used as offerings in religious ceremonies and as gifts among states.