Ships of the Silk Road: The Bactrian Camel in Chinese Jade

Ships of the Silk Road: The Bactrian Camel in Chinese Jade

by Angus Forsyth


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For hundreds of years the Bactrian camel ploughed a lonely furrow across the vast wilderness of Asia. This bizarre-looking, temperamental yet hardy creature here came into its own as the core goods vehicle, resolutely and reliably transporting to China – over huge and unforgiving distances – fine things from the West while taking treasures out of the Middle Kingdom in return. Where the chariot, wagon and other wheeled conveyances proved useless amidst the shifting desert dunes, the surefooted progress of the camel – archetypal 'ship of the Silk Road' – now reigned supreme. The Bactrian camel was a subject that appealed particularly to Chinese artists because of its association with the exotic trade to mysterious Western lands. In his lavishly illustrated volume, Angus Forsyth explores diverse jade pieces depicting this iconic beast of burden. Almost one hundred separate objects are included, many of which have not been seen in print before. At the same time the author offers the full historical background to his subject. The book will have a strong appeal to collectors and art historians alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781300695
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 03/26/2019
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 8.11(w) x 9.91(h) x 0.78(d)

About the Author

Angus Forsyth is an internationally respected collector of and authority on Chinese jade and a former president of the Oriental Ceramics Society of Hong Kong. He has given long and dedicated study to ancient jades, with special attention to the Neolithic period, publishing widely on the topic. His publications include Chinese Jade (1991) and Jades from China (co-authored with Brian McElney, 1994). The latter was written as the catalogue of an exhibition held in the Museum of East Asian Art in Bath, England, featuring more than two hundred jades from his own Peony Collection.

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