Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object


Neolithic period, Hongshan culture (ca. 3500–2000 B.C.)
Jade (nephrite)
H. 2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm); W. 3 7/8 in. (9.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift, 2009
Accession Number:
Not on view
The Hongshan culture, from which this plaque comes, remained unknown until the 1980s. Centered in northeastern China, it is known for large ceremonial structures built with rocks, graves lined with stone slabs, and distinctively shaped jades that were often the sole goods found in tombs. Judging from the holes on its back and on the top center, this piece may have been an ornament, however its exact function cannot be deciphered until more archaeological evidence becomes available.
Baron and Baroness von Oertzen , Johannesburg (by 1969–2008; to Christie's) ; Christie's, South Kensington , November 7, 2008, lot 239; to Lally ; [ J. J. Lally & Co. , New York, 2008–9; sold to MMA]
Related Objects

Ritual Object (Cong)

Date: ca. 2400 B.C. Medium: Jade (nephrite) Accession: 2004.52 On view in:Gallery 207


Date: dated 1774 Medium: Jade (nephrite) Accession: 02.18.689 On view in:Gallery 222

Boy with water buffalo

Date: 18th century Medium: Jade (nephrite) Accession: 02.18.438 On view in:Gallery 222

Knotted Dragon Pendant

Date: 13th–11th century BC Medium: Jade (nephrite) Accession: 1985.214.99 On view in:Gallery 207

Ornamental plaque

Date: 16th–17th century Medium: Jade (nephrite) Accession: 02.18.393 On view in:Gallery 222