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The accompanying volume to the exhibition is published by NZZ Libro and
contains contributions on various topics by renowned international authors from
various fields of expertise. It also contains listings of all the objects
exhibited. The richly illustrated catalogue is aimed at a wide audience and is
available in German, French and English in the Museum shop.
Information about exhibition catalogue: http://www.qin.ch/en/exhibition/catalogue/
Jade has always been the material of the highest value to the Chinese. From very ancient times,
this extremely tough translucent stone has been worked into ornaments, ceremonial weapons and ritual
objects. Recent exciting archaeological finds in many parts of China have revealed not only the
antiquity of the skill of jade carving, but also the extraordinary levels of development it achieved
at a very early date. This exhibition illustrates the history of jade use in China from c. 5000 BC
to the modern day. Over two hundred superb jades, the majority from the collection of Sir Joseph
Hotung, display the subtle variety of colours and textures of this exotic stone, while demonstrating
the many different types of carving, ranging from long, smooth Neolithic blades to later plaques,
ornaments, dragons, animal and human sculpture and intricate 18th century pendants.
Jade, beautiful and indestructible, has acquired a mysterious presence through its many different uses over the centuries. Most highly prized by the elite of ancient China, it was worn by kings and nobles in both life and death and linked with their powers supposed and imaginary. As jade was powerful in life, it came to be regarded as powerful in death, protecting the body from decay. In later times these magical properties were perhaps less explicitly recognised, jade being valued more for its use in exquisite ornaments and vessels, and for its links with antiquity. Ancient jade shapes and decorative patterns were often copied in the Ming and Qing periods, thereby bringing the association of the distant past to the Chinese peoples of later times.
(from the website of the museum)
Last modified: 29.03.2013