Disc thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
China, Room 44, The T.T. Tsui Gallery

Disc

ca. 2000 BC -1500 BC (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

A ‘bi’ is a flat circular slab of jade with a central hole. An ancient Chinese text entitled the ‘Zhouli’ (‘Rituals of Zhou’) describes the ‘bi’ as a ceremonial object to sacrifice to Heaven. However the ‘bi’ was made at least a thousand years before the ‘Zhouli’ was written. Its function in prehistoric times remains unknown.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Nephrite jade, carved
Brief Description
Disc, Bi, Nephrite jade, China, ca. 2000 BC -1500 BC.
Physical Description
Mottled dark green bi with brown inclusions
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 20.3cm
Style
Summary
A ‘bi’ is a flat circular slab of jade with a central hole. An ancient Chinese text entitled the ‘Zhouli’ (‘Rituals of Zhou’) describes the ‘bi’ as a ceremonial object to sacrifice to Heaven. However the ‘bi’ was made at least a thousand years before the ‘Zhouli’ was written. Its function in prehistoric times remains unknown.
Bibliographic Reference
Kerr, Rose (ed). Chinese Art and Design. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1991, nr.105.
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.3-1933

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record createdMay 8, 2000
Record URL