Subject:It is just not that easy!
Posted By: Bill Mon, Feb 15, 2010
While I respect your expertise in jade, however I am surprised and a little bit disturbed with your statement:
"I hope Bill and Anita gets a look at these."
What exactly are you trying to imply?
that Anita and I are both too BLIND to see ALL the HS pieces posted by KK here are "authentic"?
I believe it is FOOLISH to attribute any jade pieces based on pictures alone, no matter how high resolution they may be because there would be a lot one would miss. Mr. Eric Hoffman absolutley refused to do so, do you believe KK and you may know more about jade than him?
Do you believe you can attribut a Liangzhu jade piece by pictures alone without being able to examine closely at their tool marks? One time a forum member posted eight pieces of Liangzhu jade carvings in this forum, with four pieces being authentic excavated pieces and four pieces being fakes. He asked other members to identify them but nobody would attempt to do so except me. I got them all correct not because I really knew my stuff but because I had read a lot of jade books and had seen all the four authentic pieces on books before. Do you know that there are really not that many jade books that discuss what types of tool marks were being found on authetnic Laingzhu jade pieces? Without being able to know what exactly their tool marks should look like, even one would post all these authentic Lianzhu jade pieces in this forum, what can one truly learn?
Patina and calcification alone cannot and will not make any jade pieces authentic and will not make them Hongshan. How can you tell a piece that is 1,000 BC from a piece that is 3,000 BC? Or for that matter one was made in 500 AD?
How can you tell from a simple slit ring that it is Hongshan but not other Neolithic cultures? Most difficult of all, how can you convince a collector to pay large sum of money for it because it is indeed authentic?
Is it common to have any authetnic Hongshan jade pieces to be chicken bone white (color) like that "authentic" chicken-bone-white piece posted here by KK? Why or why not?
Is it possible to have vermilion (cinnabar, mercuric sulfide) found on authentic Hongshan jade carvings? Why or why not?
Are there any authentic Hongshan jade turtle carapace?
You see, while I applaud KK's effort in posting all these pictures of jade carvings in his series of "tool marks" and I do believe many of those Shang/Zhou/Spring-Autumn, Warring States pieces posted by him could be authentic based on their pictures. The problem is he did not really start a "genuine" discussion of "tool marks" because there were nowhere he would take time to explain how any of these tool marks were made and made with what types of carving tools. Also, to make matters more complicated, he did not quote the sources of all these pictures or their correct attributions (ages, dynasties, material, etc.) and some of those pieces were only shown partially in their pictures. Did he take all these pictures himself or own all these picturs? Now it may be indeed like you said, that he might be a curator of museum (I doubt it though) and therefore he might be reluctant to quote the sources of his pictures.
You see, both of you and KK seemed to get offended when Robert started asking questions about tool marks left on one of the jade carvings or what type of tools were used to make such tool mark:
KK responded to Robert:
"The diagonal line was in cut on thin spinning wheel powered by foot (much like an old fashion sawing machine), lost abrasive and water was added on the wheel to make the cut. They did not use metal rasp. ."
"Robert,I try to answer your question while no one else did, but you did not show any appreciation. That is OK . I will not respond to any more of your question and interpretation of wheel grinding and “the huge blob of solder”. Like the old monk said I can’t offer you a cup of good tea while your cup is already full of you own."
"I probably have more “special access” to the museum piece than you can imagine.
And yes! All pre history /Hongshan jade pictures will come from some of the best known Museums in main land China and Taiwan. "
"Hi Rob, obviously you have no experience with jade."
It may indeed be true that Robert has very little experience with jade, however he seems to have experience in lapidary while many of jade experts/collectors generally do not have any experiences with them. Therefore, it is very possible that he may contribute a lot in the discussion of tool marks found on jade carvings and we may learn a lot from him.
You see, both of you and KK seemed to believe all these tool marks on all these "authentic" Shang/Zhou/AP-WS pieces were made with rotary tools (disc or tu). Well, you can both be correct or you could both be wrong.
Prof. S Howard Hansford did not believe rotary tools for jade carvings were invented until the Iron Age and these rotary tools were made with iron. Therefore, in early Zhou dynasty (or early part of Wester Zhou), there might not be any rotary tools.
Furthermore, KK believes there were not ONLY rotary tools but also rotary tools that were powered by foot in the making of these Shang/Zhous. In Mr. Yang Boda's jade book series, they called it "rotary tool machine" (to be differentiaed from manual rotary tools held by hand only). While it may be true if they are Ming or Qing jade carvings, however, I do not believe foot-powered rotary tools were being employed as early as either Shang dynasty or even Zhou dynasty, if these rotary tool machines were employed, then they would be powered by hand (like with a bow or a machine that sits on the floor and powered by hand). However, it is quite possible that rotary tools might be indeed being employed as early as Neolithic time or even during Zhou dynasty because Mr. Yang Boda did mention something about wheel cutting in Zhou. Therefore, I plan to submit a thread later in disucssing the opinions of Hansford and Yang toward rotary tools in the making of archaic Chinese jade carvings.
The main obstacle, however, there would be absolutely no way for any of us to decide if any of thsee tool marks, especially the tiny one referred by Robert, was made with rotary tool (wheel-cutting) or filing/rasping (hand-held tools) based on such low resultion pictures.
In the article, "The identification of carving techniques on Chinese jade" written by Magaret Sax, et al:
According to this article, even under SEM (Scanning Electronic Microscope), if observed from above, there are basically no diffence between a tool mark left by a rotary tool (wheel-cut) or by filing or raspong (hand held tool)
(see picture 1 here).
However, if one can see the longitudinal SEM views of both tool marks (one left by wheel cut and one left by filing/rasping) then one will be able to tell. (see pic 2 here)
Now, would KK be able to provide a longitudinal SEM view of that tool mark referred by Robert?
Therefore, it shows it is extremely difficult to tell how any tool marks were being made, with rotary tools (wheel-cut) or from filing/rasping (hand held tools). To make it more complicated, some time both tools were being used on the same carving lines and as a result, one tool mark will cover up another one made with different tools. Sax's article has pretty good discussion about this. Therefore, in essence all of us could be right.
I believe on some of those Shang/Zhous pieces posted by KK, their tool marks could be made by filing/rasping, some could be made by wheel-cutting or a combination of both. I hope I can finish my reading and can post my learnings in a different thread regarding "Were Zhou dynasty jade carvings made with rotary tools?".
In the same token, KK's posting of all these Hongshan pieces here does not serve a lot of purposes, if he will not or cannot present the carving techniques being used in the making of them, demonstrating how any of these tool marks were being made and with what type of tools with his pictures, whether his pieces are "authentic" Hongshan or not will be a moot point.
According to some Hongshan jade literatures, including the one article written by Mr. Zhou Nam Quan (which I had posted in Hongshan jade material, a new thread), there are three different tool marks left on authentic Hongshan jade pieces, with one covering up the other and is therefore very difficult to see, even with close up pictures. You almost have to move your piece back and forth to be able to see them.
May be if you or KK will be generous enough to share your expertise in Hongshan jade carving techniques and tool marks with all of us, that will certainly be helpful to all of us.
Lastly, I sincerely hope you will not be offended by my message and I apologize in advance if I might have said anything that may offend you in the heat of discussion.
I believe, no matter how experienced a person may believe he is in any field of collecting, that is always a chance for that person to be wrong, and a chance that they may learn some new things from even a novice.
Thank you very much.