Jade: Treasures from Heaven

Ming's Gallery

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Jade: Treasures from Heaven

Jade is considered the Imperial stone from the heavens and a path to the divine. It is believed to hold supernatural powers over the constellation and forces of nature, the bridge between life and immortality. Since Neolithic times (7000 - 1000 B.C.), artisans have crafted myth, legend and ritual from the sacred stone.

Emperors requested blessings from the heavenly kingdom through jade, and their spirits were returned clad in jade burial suits. Jade was believed to be the essence of creation, representing justice and the embodiment of virtue. The Confucians carried jade to purify the mind and awaken the intellect. Taoists considered jade the supreme elixir of life and the Buddhist Pa Pao, or Eight Treasures, were often fashioned of jade.

The Chinese regard jade as the most precious of stones, an auspicious gift, through which is passed the highest truths from each of its owners. Men have always held great favor with jade due to the pure, glossy luster of the precious gem. Well-carved jade is symbolic of holding joy and enrichment for its owner, conveying the qualities of beauty and nobility. It is known to possess these five virtues:

  1. A warm and brilliant luster: representing kindness
  2. A transparent surface, revealing natural flaws; representing sincerity
  3. A tranquil nature; the way of wisdom
  4. It may be broken, but cannot be twisted; the manner of bravery
  5. Its edges may be sharp, but not intended for violence; the way of purity

Our collection consist of incense burners, large figural sculptures, symbolic animals, vessels, vases, burial and ritual artifacts from the Shang period (1300 - 1100 B.C.), though the Ching Dynasty (1644 - 1911 A.D.). Featuring decorative and functional objects of virtue, as well as fine and rare antique jewelry. 


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