Bi (Ritual Disk)

What is AAT?

The Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) (r) is a structured vocabulary for generic concepts related to art and architecture. It was developed by The Getty Research Institute to help research institutions become consistent in the terminology they use.Learn More

Object Name: 
Bi (Ritual Disk)
Accession Number: 
51.6.548
Dimensions: 
Overall Diam (max): 16.4 cm, Th: 0.5 cm; Perforation Diam: 6.3 cm
Location: 
Not on Display
Date: 
206 BC-220 AD
Web Description: 
Beginning more than 4,000 years ago, disk-shaped bi made from jade were buried in graves with the deceased. When Chinese glassmakers became skilled in casting, they began to make bi from glass, often in colors that imitate natural stones such as jade. The spiral patterns on this example represent clouds.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Musso, F. P., Source
1951-04-03
Category: 
Color: 
Technique: 
Material: 
Primary Description: 
Bi (Ritual Disk). Opaque green glass; cast, cut. Carved on each face with lines forming a narrow border about 0.4 cm wide at both rim and perforation edge; otherwise both faces entirely covered with cut cloud (?) spirals.
Exhibition of East Asiatic Glass
Venue(s)
Toledo Museum of Art 1948-10-03 through 1948-10-31
Escort Guide to the Galleries (2013) illustrated, p. 25; BIB# 134015
Escort Guide to the Galleries [V4/2013] (2013) illustrated, p. 25; BIB# 134856
Tesori del Vetro al Corning Museum of Glass (2005-12) illustrated, p. 20, fig. 4; BIB# AI67739
Plastik sanatlarda cam malzemenin uygulanisi (2003) illustrated, p. 20, fig. 2.6; BIB# 120381
Chemical Analyses of Early Glasses (Volume 1) (1999) pp. 150, 250; BIB# 61154
A Short History of Glass (1990 edition) (1990) illustrated, pp. 34-35, #28; BIB# 33211
A Short History of Glass (1980 edition) (1980) illustrated, p. 35, #27; BIB# 21161
Le Verre dans Tous ses Reflets (1973-06) pp. 36-41, ill. p. 36, left;