1. M5011



Chinese jade archaic disc, bi, of small size incised on each side with a cross-hatch grid pattern forming hexagonal relief seeds, all raised within plain bands.

The stone white with russet and pale brown mottling.

2 inches, 5.1 cm diameter.

Western Han dynasty, 206 BCE-9 CE.


Fine, tiny rim nicks.

Provenance & Additional Information

  • Sold by Sotheby’s London in their auction of Important Ancient Chinese Bronzes, Ceramics and Works of Art, 19th June 1984, lot 93, p. 82, illustration p. 81, where it notes, “A bi with similar carving found in an early Western Han tomb is illustrated in Excavations of the Han Tombs at Guangzhou, vol. II, pl. XLII, fig. 1, and another of larger size in the Art Institute of Chicago is illustrated by Alfred Salmony in Archaic Chinese Jades from the Edward and Louise B. Sonnenschein Collection, pl. CII, no. 1”.
  • A similar bi also dated Western Han is illustrated by James C. Y. Watt and Michael Knight in Chinese Jades from the Collection of the Seattle Art Museum, no. 25b, pp. 46/7, where the authors note, “The hexagonal pattern, known as the rush or matting pattern in Chinese literature, is commonly found on jade bi of the Western Han period”; a larger example also dated to the Han dynasty of similar material is illustrated by Max Loehr in Ancient Chinese Jades, from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, no. 529, p. 366; another also of similar material, described as rush-pattern huan-disc, is illustrated by Ch’in Hsiao-yi and Chiang Fu-tsung in Illustrated Catalogue of Ancient Jade Artefacts in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, no. 201; another is included by Yang Boda in the exhibition of Chinese Archaic Jades from the Kwan Collection, 1994, no. 198; another from the collection of Dr. S. Y. Kwan, dated to late Eastern Zhou or early Western Han, was included by Ip Yee in Chinese Jade Carving, an exhibition jointly presented by the Urban Council, Hong Kong, and the Min Chiu Society, organised by the Hong Kong Museum of Art, 1983, no. 103, pp. 116/7 and was also included by Chan Lai Pik in Chinese Jades, The Dr. S. Y. Kwan Collection, an exhibition held at the Arts Museum, Institute of Chinese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2012, no. 97, p. 112; another dated to the Han dynasty, is illustrated by Peter Y. K. Lam in Jades from the Tomb of the King of Nanyue, 1991, no. 23 (D50-11), p. 238, where they mention it was found near the left thigh.