Long associated with the Shang Era (approximately 1550 – 1050 B.C.), today this plate is considered an exceptional piece from the Longshan Culture (approximately 2000 – 1600 B.C.), famous for its sacrificial knives and its “sceptres” (zhang). We know of only one comparable piece today, discovered paradoxically in the Guangdong province in southern China.
The function of this object is unknown. Although its circular form and central perforation identifies it with traditional bi, such as those found abundantly in the Liangzhu Culture (approximately 4000 B.C. – 2500 B.C.), the decoration of a bird with its wings spread wide and the effusive ornamental openwork interlacing represent a certain originality. The jade openwork seems to be characteristic of the Longshan Culture.
Plate decorated with a bird
© Musée Cernuschi