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Gallery Text

The Shang refined Neolithic jade-making practices, fashioning ritual blades and implements of even greater sophistication than those of their predecessors, incorporating jade blades into turquoise-inlaid bronze hafts, and expanding their jade repertoire into representational shapes of humans and animals.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1943.50.404
Title
Jade Curved Fish with Jagged Dorsal Fin
Classification
Ritual Implements
Work Type
pendant
Date
16th-8th century BCE
Places
Creation Place: East Asia, China
Period
Shang dynasty (c. 1600-c. 1050 BCE) to Western Zhou period (c. 1050-771 BCE)
Culture
Chinese
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/202770
Location
Level 1, Room 1740, Early Chinese Art, Arts of Ancient China from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age
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Physical Descriptions
Medium
Light olive-green and cream-colored translucent nephrite, showing signs of incipient calicification; traces of cinnabar on the right side
Dimensions
W. 2.3 x L. 7.5 x Thickness 0.4 cm (7/8 x 2 15/16 x 3/16 in.)
Weight 12 g
Provenance
Grenville L. Winthrop, New York (by 1943), bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1943.
Published Text
Catalogue
Ancient Chinese Jades from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University
Authors
Max Loehr and Louisa G. Fitzgerald Huber
Publisher
Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1975)

Catalogue entry no. 137 by Max Loehr:

137 Curved Fish with Jagged Dorsal Fin
Light olive-green and cream-colored translucent jade, showing signs of incipient calcification; traces of cinnabar on the right side. Uncommon features of this piece, in addition to the sawteeth of the dorsal fin, are the fluted tail fin and a row of large, overlapping scales which repeat the curve of the gill. The carving is identical on both sides. Conical perforation at the mouth. Shang or Western Chou(?).

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
1943
Object Number
1943.50.404
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Publication History

Max Loehr and Louisa G. Fitzgerald Huber, Ancient Chinese Jades from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1975), cat. no. 137, p. 119

Exhibition History

32Q: 1740 Early China I, Harvard Art Museums, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu