2. M5010



Chinese jade archaic disc, bi, of small size, carved on both sides with C-scrolls between raised borders.

The stone russet and mottled.

2 inches, 5 cm diameter.

Eastern Han dynasty, 25 CE-220 CE.


Natural mottling and two possible edge knocks.

Provenance & Additional Information

  • Sold by Christie’s London in their auction of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 20th/21st June 1984, The Property of a Collector, lot 540, p. 210.
  • Two similar bi’s dated to the Spring and Autumn period are illustrated by Jia E in Complete Collection of Chinese Jade, Chunqiu and Zhanguo, vol. 3, nos. 132 & 30, pp. 81 & 18; another dated to the Han dynasty is illustrated by Wang Qinglu in Guyu Jing Hua, A Selection of Finest Old Jades, no. 154, p. 90; another dated Spring and Autumn is illustrated by Yang Lijuan in The Deep Affection for Jade, no. 43, pp. 96/7; a slightly larger example dated to the Eastern Zhou period in the British Museum with tighter double C-scrolls is illustrated by Jessica Rawson in Chinese Jades from the Neolithic to the Qing, no. 17:2, p. 264.
  • The C-scroll design was first popular at the beginning of the Spring and Autumn period, 771 BCE-476 BCE and continued as a design through the Han dynasty, 206 BCE-220 CE. It can be read as masks and occasionally has a dragon hidden in the design.