From Overall Vision Effect to Details of Craftmanship: towards Analysis and Comparison of Two Types of Jade suits from Mancheng Han Tombs and NO.40 Dingxian Han tomb

Lin Yang ,Palphol Rodloytuk
Keywords: jade suits; vassel kings; Western Han; Zhongshan Kingdom; Mancheng Han Tombs; NO.40 Dingxian Han tombIntroduction ,


This article compares and analyzes two types of jade suits, one customized for individuals and made in vassal kingdoms, the other mass-produced and made by artisans of the Eastern Enclosure (东园匠) in the center Han court, from overall vision effect to details of craftmanship, including differences in 1) total number of plaques; 2) details of components; 3) details of plaques whether recycled jade-wares. This study used literature analysis, observation, and contrast to gather samples from Mancheng Han tombs and NO.40 Dingxian Han tomb. Two types of jade suits show distinct different features and making ideas.

1 In overall vision effects, contours of customized jade suits show feature close to human body shape and contours of mass-produced jade suits show feature in much more succinct.

2 The plaques number correlates with degree of jade-suit contour reflected for human body. Since customized jade-suits owned greater number and smaller average area for plaques, it showed higher degree of reflection for body contour. Opposite characteristics for mass-produced jade-suits.

3 Differences in the details of the components suggest whether the jade suits were clear who they serve before made. Components of jade suits customized shows features of individuals. However, components for jade suits of mass-production shows features of compromising for efficiency and overall vision effects in the case of unknown served.

4 Whether plaques made of recycled jade-wares reflect the amount of jade resources available at the production site. Customized jade-suits show traces of recycled jade-wares since limitation of jade resources in vassal kingdoms. None recycled jade-ware used for Mass-productional jade-suits for productional improvement and abundance of jade resource in central Han court.