This book is a landmark in the study of jade, as well as the most comprehensive photographic collection yet published. It combines in a single work the most contemporary jade research and opinion from the world's leading experts, with over 590 photographs of jades from every continent, the majority of which have never previously been published. The best and most authoritative studies on jade of earlier periods have come from excavations only carried out relatively recently. Increasingly sophisticated archaeological practices and scientific techniques of analysis mean that our knowledge is now more complete and accurate than ever before. Expert authors on each section have been commissioned from locations as diverse as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, America, Canada, New Zealand and England, and their work has been translated into English where necessary, often for the first time. The depth and breadth of knowledge included in this beautiful volume ensure that it will be an indispensable work for all connoisseurs and those involved in the field of jade, and for the general reader who is fascinated by this intriguing stone. Jade has for centuries preoccupied human beings of all types and races; it was held in reverence by prehistoric cultures from as far apart as China, Mexico and New Zealand and it continues to fascinate to this day. It has been revered for practical, aesthetic, mythological and commercial reasons, and has been endowed with symbolic status and mystic powers. The Mayan and Olmec rulers of pre-Columbian Central America laughed at the Spanish invaders who took their gold instead of jade; turks of the tenth century believed that it would ensure victory at battle. The Neolithic peoples of China buried jade artefacts with their dead in the belief that the stone would ensure the body's preservation; edicts were issued in the Yuan Dynasty that only court officials could wear jade, and its use was strictly graded according to rank. And the simplest of decorative jade would have taken years to carve. Structured geographically and historically, this book covers all the major and lesser known areas of jade production. A general introduction is followed by chapters on the scientific gemology of jade; Chinese jades of the Neolithic, post-Neolithic to Han, Han to Song and Yuan, Ming and Qing periods; modern Chinese carving; jades of Taiwan, Korea and Japan; New Zealand and other South Pacific jades; Islamic and Mughal jades; European jade; North American and Canadian jade; jades from Meso-America; smaller jade-carving centres such as Russia, and crucial source areas of jade such as Burma. Supplementary sections give advice on evaluating and appraising jades, a guide for buyers and collectors, a cross-cultural historical chart, maps and diagrams, a listing of contemporary collections and museums, glossaries of Chinese terminology, and the most extensive jade bibliography ever published.
Roger Keverne was for many years Director of the Oriental Department of Spink & Sons Ltd, the largest antique dealing house in the world and the crown medalists. He was appointed Vice-Chairman and Council Member of the British Antique Dealers' Association and was Chairman of the Oriental Vetting Committee of the Grosvenor House Antiques Fair. In 1992 he established the Oriental Art Gallery Limited in central London. Chairman of the Vetting Committee for the Winter Antiques Show, he was appointed Chairman of Asian Art in London in 2005 and again in 2006. Roger Keverne is a Governor of the Compton Verney House Trust, an outside lecturer for Sotheby's Education and was an outside assessor for West Dean College of Arts and Crafts for several years.