The Hongshan Culture was based in Northern China, from around 3,500 to 2,000 BC. Hongshan Jade Treasures presents a unique view of what was one of the oldest jade carving Cultures.
Jade (Yu in Chinese) describes a range of carveable stones, the principal of which is nephrite jade. Over a twelve year period David Anderson has collected over a thousand mostly small Hongshan nephrite carvings. and more recently ones in agate, and a unique form of a natural high temperature silica glass, similar to Libyan Desert Glass.
This book illustrates some 340 Hongshan carvings, often with two or more views of the same piece. More than half is concerned with nephrite jade, its art, iconography and authentication. There follow more controversial chapters on carvings in agate and ‘shui jing’ glass, and the latter’s probable origin. David Anderson combines appreciation of art with science, and shows that there is much to be deduced by those who seek evidence rather than opinion. He is frustrated at what he sees as the willful official neglect of Hongshan, in a modern China still deeply disturbed by the Mao era.
David Anderson argues that the ‘politically correct’ UNESCO and UNIDROIT Conventions, which in theory were meant to prevent tomb robbing, have been ineffective and self-defeating in China. Controversially, he sees Hongshan jade collectors as the true curators of this most advanced and artistically important of the world’s late Neolithic Cultures. This book should make all lovers of art, science and history marvel at man’s cultural past, and meditate a little on his often ignominious present.


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