Carved jadeite jade ring carved with a Pixiu at its saddle.
The Pixiu is a mythical creature associated with wealth and good tidings.
It has a dragon’s head, a horse’s body, a lion’s paws, and wings on both sides.
The carving on this Pixiu shows these very precisely, and it is this ornate expression that makes this saddle a special piece.
The technique of the jade saddle ring is not often known, though its art can be appreciated if the carving is alive.
Like a hololith ring (donut ring), the jade saddle ring has to be carved from one much bigger piece of jade boulder. Continuity of good material is key to get a worthwhile ring at the end.
That is its technique. When sculpturing this saddle further into a figurative or symbolic carving, this is art.
At this point much could go wrong, and sometimes art is forsaken and the saddle is left plain.
When everything is better than good, the carving will take the form of Nature, with selective parts of the carving emboldened with color or fade.
This is how we gauge a jade ring with carving, how the material is ‘positioned’ to bring out the carving.
In other words, it will be great if the saddle is translucent, but it is best if the saddle is well carved.
In a small area above the ring, this Pixiu stretches 35mm across and about 12mm widest.
The Pixiu has a strip of apple green running diagonally across. This vivid strip is so well positioned, the green running topmost except at one cheek.
The green is like paint inking through the otherwise white jade.
It is truer to say this is a carved jadeite ring than a saddle ring.
This ring is US 10.75.