Qing Antique Chinese Hand Carved Jade Archers Ring | Banzhi Thumb Guard

Sale price$1,280.00

This museum quality antique hand carved and ornamented archers thumb ring (Banzhi) is of natural untreated nephrite jade in Champagne, Gray, Green, White. This ring is a luscious translucent celadon with natural suffusion in places, and has religious writings carved into the surface and a beautiful representation of the enlightened Buddha, (fo or fotuo) with his hand raised in a gesture reassurance, seated with cross-legged posture on an open lotus flower. The ring is 1/4" thick all the way around and measures approximately 1 3/8” wide.

Condition: The Ring is in excellent condition on all surfaces.

Additional Information: In Manchu archery, the bowstring is pulled back with the thumb of the right hand, making a thumb ring essential both to protect the thumb and to ensure a smooth release of the arrow. In addition to their practical function, thumb rings were also worn regularly as personal adornment. All Manchu archers, even the highest ranking aristocrats, favored plain thumb rings of bone or antler for use in hunting and warfare.

It is the case that in neolithic and ancient China, objects have been carved from a variety of hard stones not just Nephrite. However, for those early carvers who had access to Nephrite Jade, it would have been the case that they could readily distinguish Nephrite from the other hard stones by its unique and difficult working properties. In early Chinese cultures Nephrite came to be associated with the noble moral qualities of Confucianism and particularly used for ritualistic functions and became the preferred material for important and valuable carved objects, which became the possessions of a privileged few.