Height: 3 cm (1 1/8 inches)
Yellow & Brownish red Nephrite Jade
Late Ming Dynasty
This classically shaped circular thumb ring was intended to be worn on the thumb to protect it while engaging in archery. The thumb ring protected the base of the thumb as the archer released the arrow from the bow. While originating as a utilitarian purpose, the thumb ring became a status object and was worn daily as a symbol of elite status. The present example is rendered from a finely grained pebble of Khotan nephrite jade of rich yellowish and reddish brown coloration. The interior and exterior surfaces are polished to a soft silky finish which has great tactile quality.
In our opinion, the subject matter, workmanship and material suggest a Ming Dynasty date for this desirable object.
Formerly in a Distinguished California Collection
Reference number 4184