Several mineral species are referred to as ‘jade’. However, ‘true jade’ or ‘precious jade’ is the mineral jadeite, a sodium alumino-silicate, formed under high pressure deep down in the Earth. Nephrite jade, a calcium, magnesium, iron silicate is a carvable variety of the amphibole mineral, actinolite. It is much more common and less valuable. However, it is a superb carving medium used for thousands of years, especially in China.
Honan Province, People’s Republic of China
16 x 18 x 10 cm
This exquisite example of the lapidary art was carved in the 1930s or 40s. The skilled artisan has used the variegated pattern in this nephrite to carve different features, such as the stripes on the goats and the foliage of trees. The carving was purchased from the private collection of James Wilson via The Australian Museum Society with funds provided by Unilever Australia Pty Ltd.
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