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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
1943.50.619.A
Title
Jade Semicircular Fish Figure (One of a Pair)
Classification
Ritual Implements
Work Type
pendant
Date
12th-11th century BCE
Places
Creation Place: East Asia, China
Period
Shang dynasty, c. 1600-c. 1050 BCE
Culture
Chinese
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/204531
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
Cream-colored nephrite with gray markings
Dimensions
W. 0.7 x L. 6.7 x Thickness 1.2 cm (1/4 x 2 5/8 x 1/2 in.)
Weight 8 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. 140 by Max Loehr:

140 Pair of Semicircular Fish Figures
Cut from a narrow collard disk of cream-colored jade with gray markings. In contrast to the preceding piece, the collar has been ground away only in part, just sufficiently to leave the pectoral fins and the tips of the tail in slight relief. Behind the tail at the obliquely cut end, the disk body is ground down to become flush with the head; here the mouth is perforated from the side. In the other specimen, the collar, though reduced in width, extends to the fish’s mouth, where it is perforated from above. Due to the presence of the collar-ridges, the heads are rendered rather indistinctly. 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
1943.50.619.A
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. 140a, p. 120

Exhibition History

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

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

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