Shang Dynasty Jade Thumb Ring Decorated with Beast Face Carving


Outer diameter: 34.5mm (1.36″)

Inner diameter: 22mm (0.87″)

Height: front 27mm (1.06″) rear 31mm (1.22″)

Weight: 35g (0.08lb)

Out of stock


The 韘 (弽) thumb ring is an auxiliary tool for hooking strings which is put on the thumb of the right hand when the bow is opened and the string is pulled. It is commonly known as the finger puller. The appearance of 韘 is related to the unique bow-drawing custom in ancient China.

This jade thumb ring is made of yellowish green jade, cylindrical in shape, flat in the lower part, and inclined in the upper end, which is hollow and fits the thumb. The front face is carved with animal face patterns, with huge horns like ox, the ears are attached behind the ears, square eyes, and a hole is drilled under each eye to tie the cord. There is a horizontal groove on the back to hold the bowstring.

The jade has a jelly-like texture change, and the whole body is covered with amber color and filament-like erosion texture. This jade thumb ring reflects the classical carving technique in the early Shang Dynasty, with double shade line decorative patterns. Knife marks are clearly noticeable at the turning points.


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