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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 5:26 pm 
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Ann Goodman has been in touch with this question to the forum:

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I recently purchased this very large ceremonial hollow torque: Miao silver. 11 ” h x 11” w. central porcine face element with the bottom base 5" x 3”. Southwest China. Horn-like torque attached to central element with porcine dragon slanted eyes and nostrils. The entire surface is decorated with deeply oxidized curved bands. The bands form semicircles where the horns connect to the central porcine face element. I placed the large hollow diamond cone-shaped earrings with this torque since the earrings appeared to me to be of the same style. Do any of the Forum members know where this piece is from and what the fierce porcine masklike face symbolizes? Is the piece worn by a man or a woman?


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Bovinetorque-w.jpg
Bovinetorque-w.jpg [ 69.25 KiB | Viewed 9355 times ]

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Last edited by Pamela on Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 3:28 pm 
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This is a very striking piece. I don't think I have ever seen one similar although I don't really collect jewellery but this is a pretty memorable example. I have looked through my books which include a focus on Miao silverware but without any success. I commented to Ann that the torque must be very heavy but she responded "The torque is not heavy because it is hollow."

I know that there are certain Miao ceremonies which focus around the sacrifice of a bullock. I wonder if there is some connection?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:49 pm 
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I have been studying and collection body ornaments in Southeast Asia and SW China for 20 years and I have never seen anything like this very unusual piece. May I sugget that it may be new as it does not look as if it has ever been used, could it perhaps be a modern construct of a traditional Miao silver torque? There is no history in the traditional designs and motifs in SE Asia that has a face carved in this way; in fact it is unusual for a face type mask to appear on a body ornament at all except in Nagaland, where it has ancient headhunting overtones. The dragon slanting eyes are completely alien in the world of SEAsian ornaments, but maybe a a modern take of a traditional Chinese dragon motif. I leave this piece as problematic and hope that someone can identify it. Margaret Duda's book Four Centuries of Chinese Silver is one good source.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:24 pm 
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Thanks, Lesley, for your post to which I alerted Ann. She has responded as follows:
Quote:
re: Lesley Pullen's comments on torque
I am intrigued that Lesley, who has been collecting Miao silver for so long, has never come across such a torque. However, I think that we all have to keep an open mind on pieces such as this. For example, when the Jianhe pieces first came onto the Forum the question was raised as to whether or not they were new and made for sale. But I think we all now agree that Jianhe textiles are not new. With the opening of southwest China by means of rail and roads, many unknown types of art may come to the market from areas that were previously inaccessible. On the other hand I know that dealers from the west are commissioning new jewelry made by minority craftsmen. The western dealers are pleased to present these new designs as products of fine minority craftmanship using western designs. Another of these torques can be found on the Folkvision website
http://folkvision.net/index.php?main_pa ... cts_id=223
The designs on the Folkvision site torque are similar to Zhengfeng pieces from Guizhou (see attached posted below). Good New Years greetings to All
Ann


Attachments:
06-torquew.jpg
06-torquew.jpg [ 71.88 KiB | Viewed 9294 times ]

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 Post subject: Zhenfeng piece
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:14 pm 
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The silver Zhenfeng piece posted above appears to be a modern take on an old form. A number of these began appearing over the last two years in Taiwan - hollow form with various representations of the Chinese zodiac repeated here on the three layers.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:22 pm 
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Ann's latest response:

Quote:
"I'm pleased to have Iain's information on the Zhengfeng torque. My piece is, indeed, hollow and very shiny, but decorative. The torque came together with a nice, probably mid-century, Zhengfeng outfit displaying some skillful traditional embroidery on the apron and the back (see attached). The torque, although shiny and new added to the overall richness of the outfit. I am also attaching JPEGs of a Zhengfeng baby carrier, which I think is marvelous. Although far removed from the subject of bovine torques, I hope that the Forum will enjoy seeing the Zhengfeng pieces. Ann"


I will add the images of a Zhenfeng Miao jacket and outfit here and then the images for the baby carrier as a separate post.


Attachments:
Zhengfeng-apron-w.jpg
Zhengfeng-apron-w.jpg [ 70.67 KiB | Viewed 9250 times ]
Zhenfengbackdet-w.jpg
Zhenfengbackdet-w.jpg [ 76.32 KiB | Viewed 9250 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:42 pm 
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Ann's baby carrier from Zhenfeng:

I find it interesting that the ends of the ties have different woven motifs. I have a newish one collected in the village in which it was made in 2000 and these also have different motifs on each end. I think that the work is magnificant - both the amazing embroidery and the weaving. The only thing you have to watch is the purple salts which are often applied to these costumes which turn and goldish green and stain a horrid purple when touched.

I think this link should take you to the part of a very long thread which has photos of the woven ends of my baby carrier http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... ?p=640#640 (ignore the Dong woven headcloth which I was trying to identify at the time).

See a photo gallery of Zuo Qi village, Min Gu township, Zhenfeng county, Guizhou province http://www.tribaltextiles.info/Galleries/Zuo_Qi.htm Looking at the torques they look ornately worked http://www.tribaltextiles.info/Gallerie ... /ZQE11.htm but I don't have close-ups to show the detail. I will have a look at my photos to see if I have anything which shows more detail.


Attachments:
08w.jpg
08w.jpg [ 77.52 KiB | Viewed 9243 times ]
09w.jpg
09w.jpg [ 76.12 KiB | Viewed 9243 times ]
File comment: 'arms' of baby carrier
07w.jpg
07w.jpg [ 77.12 KiB | Viewed 9243 times ]
File comment: ends of baby carrier
10w.jpg
10w.jpg [ 72.29 KiB | Viewed 9243 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:02 pm 
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Here are a couple of close-ups of torques being worn in 2000. I am sure I have posted the photo of the baby in the baby carrier before but I just love it so I am posting it again!


Attachments:
File comment: girl in festival costume in 2000 in Zuo Qi village, Min Gu township, Zhenfeng county, Guizhou province
0010Q35w.jpg
0010Q35w.jpg [ 73.92 KiB | Viewed 9226 times ]
File comment: girl in festival costume in 2000 in Zuo Qi village, Min Gu township, Zhenfeng county, Guizhou province
0010P35w.jpg
0010P35w.jpg [ 84.2 KiB | Viewed 9226 times ]
File comment: baby in baby carrier in 2000 in Zuo Qi village, Min Gu township, Zhenfeng county, Guizhou province
0010Q33w.jpg
0010Q33w.jpg [ 77.3 KiB | Viewed 9226 times ]

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