Wood and jade were the most commonly used materials to make toggles. The designs used could be plain and utilitarian or highly ornate with decorative symbols.
The motifs were very varied and were often drawn from Chinese legends and mythology. This beautiful and exquisitely carved "celadon" hued jade toggle depicts the highly auspicious Cicada. The ancient Chinese regarded cicadas as symbols of rebirth or immortality in much the same way as the early Egyptians thought of the sacred scarab. This unique toggle measures 1 inch in width by 0.50 inches in depth by 1.5 inches high (2.54 cm by 1.27 cm by 3.81 cm). It shows wear consistent with the late-19th or early 20th century, including tiny scratches and buffs commensurate with use from the period.
There is an old Chinese saying that goes Gold and silver are valuable, but jade is priceless. This superb piece would make a fine addition to any toggle collection, collection of jade or Scholar's library. Our goal is to bring the same experience and excitement of collecting that we have been delivering in-person to collectors across the Globe at Primitive in Chicago.
Every object we sell online has been carefully hand-selected with special attention to detail, quality, and significance.