world jade queen


Norina Roxanne Ng is known as the jade queen, and why not? She has a collection of some 1,000 exquisite ancient jade pieces in her care that are her late husband's prized heirlooms.


This avid exponent of jade arts and culture, who is also the president of the Shih Lang Culture, Art & Tourism Research Centre and life president of the 72 Countries of World See Clan Association, recently held a three-day exhibition of part of her collection in The Federal, Kuala Lumpur.


The display included some 200 small jade pieces and 15 large-sized ornaments, most of which were made 2,000 years ago from jade stones as ancient as 50,000 years old!


Other gems included the Tang Dynasty Green Chelation Phoenix Head and Dragon Handle Jar and the 15-foot-long (4.5m-long) Jade Book, which depicts Confucius and his 72 followers.


Another magnificient piece is the 10ft by 6ft (3m by 1.8m) Sung Dynasty Madam White Snake jade screen, made of 20 different coloured jade.


Ng's husband, the late Shih Mee Chuan, was offered five Rolls Royce for it but her husband couldn't bear to part with it, she said.


Shih, who died eight years ago, was the fifth-generation descendant of Marquis Shih Lang (1621-1696), a Ming-Qing admiral who destroyed the power of the Zheng family fleet and conquered Taiwan in 1681.


As a reward for his services, the admiral asked for jade and was given valuable pieces by Emperor Kangxi. He was also made the General Who Maintains Peace on the Seas with the hereditary rank of Marquis.


Those jade pieces were later passed on down the generations as family heirlooms.


The most prized family possession is the 6ft by 5.5ft by 5.5in (181.8cm by 166.7cm by 13.5cm) Nine Dragons Playing with the Celestial Pearl of Life, which weighs a hefty 1,100kg!


"It's carved more than 2,000 years ago, and the jade is about 50,000 years old," said Ng.


Other personal pieces include the Imperial Sword of Power & Execution conferred on Marquis Shih Lang by the emperor, the helmet he wore to war and his ink slab.

Ng has persevered to keep these priceless heirlooms intact despite family pressure to sell them. "At times, I have helped those in need or feeling unwell with a small gift of a jade piece.


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