Jade Haven Galleries
Masterwork Sculptures & Antiquities
Jade Haven Galleries is dedicated to promote jade as a fine art medium. We accomplish this by education in the form of publications and lecturing, and the display of contemporary examples in galleries, shows and museum exhibits. We strive to make available for purchase the works of the world’s best jade sculptors.
For five thousand years, jade has been used as a tool, in sacred ceremonial objects, in rare and intricately sculpted works of art, and in precious jewelry. In fact, carat for carat, imperial jade from Burma (jadeite) is more valuable than even diamond.
The Chinese were the first to recognize the qualities of jade found near Khotan (white nephrite) and it became interwoven into the very heart of this culture. They referred to jade as Yu and gave it the characteristics of virtue, beauty, and rarity. In describing Yu, the Chinese philosopher Confucius said, that “it is a warm liquid and has a moist aspect like benevolence. It is solid, strong and firm like wisdom, pure and not easily injured like righteousness. Like loyalty, its brilliancy lights all things near it like truth.”
Because of its hardness and toughness, similar to steel, jade has been an important part of many other cultures around the world. In New Zealand, the Maori carvers learned to use their translucent green variety (nephrite) as tools, weapons, and works of art and ceremony. The same is true of the Olmecs and Pre-Columbians in Guatemala. Here beautiful jewelry and ceremonial celts and masks were carved thin to take advantage of their brilliant blue variety of jade (jadeite). The more northern Native Americans in Alaska, British Columbia and California discovered the rare properties of their jade (nephrite) and used it in many applications. Today these areas remain important centers for contemporary masters in the fine art of jade sculpting.
The same qualities that allow jade to be used in so many diverse applications make it a considerably more difficult medium to work with than marble, alabaster, or steatite (a common jade substitute). In all aspects of the sculpting process, jade requires more time and patience in the execution of each piece. The jade sculptor may take months to complete just one small carving. In 1968, a famous Chinese master sculptor took two years carving just one pair of vases from Alaskan jade using classic techniques. For this reason many of those who have become bewitched by this “Stone of Heaven” agree with the Chinese writer in describing that “gold may be valuable, but jade is priceless.” We hope that you find this also to be true.