Potiche with flowers. China, 20th century.
Hand carved fluorite on wooden base.
Size: 16 cm (height); 3,5 cm (base).
Potiche with finely carved translucent jade decorated with roses. It stands on a carved wooden base decorated at the top with a fretwork, also with openwork vegetal forms.
Jade (nephrite) has been used in China since the Neolithic period, first by abrasion and later by carving. Even in ancient times it had a value equivalent to that given in Europe to gold, silver or precious stones. Since prehistoric times it has been the burial material par excellence in China, and it also conferred status, as it was the material used by the powerful. It was therefore a material that was believed to protect during life, which is why it was used to make amulets, ornaments and ritual knives. It is also associated with the five virtues: charity, because of its lustre, which shines but does not dazzle; righteousness, because of its transparency, which reveals the veins; wisdom, because of its purity and sound; courage, because it breaks but does not bend; and justice, because its sharp edges do not hurt.