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Jade Bixie

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Period: Han dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE)
Dimensions: length 13.2 cm, width 4.8 cm, height 8.6 cm

This bixie (which literally means "ward off evil" and refers to this mythical creature) is made of dark-brown jade. The mythical creature was carved in the round. The single-horned beast crouches; it has a pair of round eyes, an open mouth, a pair of wings, and a long tail. During the Han dynasty, the plastic arts developed substantially. Many pieces with themes of animals or human figures were fashioned in vivid forms with various materials. Among these works, mythical creatures are the most notable. These unique creatures reflect supernatural features with magnificent vitality in their forms. To date, several jade sculptures of this type have been excavated from Han-dynasty archaeological sites, and some of the jade artifacts belong to this specific category of sculpture. This jade sculpture reflects strong features with an imposing, feral manner. The work was crafted with a high degree of expressiveness by a skilled artisan. Weighty with a low centre of gravity, the carved work has been the topic of lively discussion; some have noted that the ancient work of art may be used as a jade paperweight.


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