Shang dynasty (c. 1700 – c. 1050 B.C.E.)
white jade, turquoise
various dimensions from .25 to .75 inches
Highly prized white jade was originally found in northwest China around the White Jade River in a territory now known as Khotan in Chinese Turkestan. Used to symbolize class and status as well as power and authority, white jade is sometimes found along with turquoise in tombs. Although seen here strung together, these beads would not have formed a necklace. Most likely they would have been part of a larger grouping of jade pendants and decorative personal adornments. White jade with a brownish tinge was also a favorite material for burials in the 5th-4th centuries B.C.E.
Nelson, pp. 43-45
Tregear, Chinese Art, p. 46
Willets, pp. 43-46