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Swallow-shaped jade pendant

Tags: jade | Shang dynasty

Jade Swallow
2.5x1.8 cm
Thickness: 0.5 cm
Late Shang Dynasty

Carved from sapphire and white jade, this artifact shows some cinnabar permeation spots. The artifact is carved as a flying swallow; its eyes protrude a little. On the front side of the artifact there are patterns in low relief, sketching out the feathers, the tails, and the body of the swallow. The tail spreads as fish tail and is carved with delicate skill. There is a hole in the center of this artifact; an aperture pierces the mouth of the swallow to its tail. This double opening design is particular style of Shang Dynasty. It's being in the tomb of the Zhou Dynasty suggests that it might belong to those Shang jades acquired by the Zhou royal family and then given away to feudal lords.


National Museum of History