Beijing Jade Carving


Jade is a rare, colorful and hard stone, and it is usually polished and carved to make jade ware. Jade wares are precious and rare treasures in China. Jade ornaments largely appeared in the post-Song period and prevalent during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Jade wares are normally called “Jade carvings”, a form of craftsmanship that enjoys a long history. Most jade wares come in large sizes and are used for decoration. Jade carvings with the theme of persons, mountains, utensils, and flowers bear unique touch. Quality materials are chosen to carve into different shapes and themes while allowing for features of the materials themselves. The agate ware which subtly retains the original color of it is the most representative. A wide range of jade materials are used to shape jade wares revealing a rich variety of themes. Jade wares show palace art features and imperial manner.

With superior material, exquisite workmanship and profound cultural significance, Beijing jade carving shows the historical characteristics of different dynasties, which represents aesthetic tendencies and cultural traditions with rich historical value at that time.

The protection of intangible cultural heritage has emphasized the value of traditional culture. The representative items list of national intangible cultural heritage in China are divided into ten categories. Beijing jade carving was included in the second batch of national intangible cultural heritage list in 2008 as one of the traditional art projects.

With a history of nearly 750 years, the art is still being passed down among the people. Developed from the palace culture of Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, Beijing jade carving occupies an important position in the traditional culture.