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Gallery Text

In the Zhou dynasty the number of jades in burial sites increased significantly, as multiple plaques and beads were sewn or strung together and draped over the face and body of the deceased. Jades in the forms of figures and animals became increasingly realistic, and surface patterns became more complex and highly decorative.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1943.50.649
Title
Large Jade Disk
Classification
Ritual Implements
Work Type
disk
Date
4th century BCE
Places
Creation Place: East Asia, China
Period
Zhou dynasty, Warring States period, 475-221 BCE
Culture
Chinese
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/204612
Location
Level 1, Room 1740, Early Chinese Art, Arts of Ancient China from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Clouded, translucent grayish green nephrite with variegated light brown markings on one side and large areas of dark brown and grass-green on the other; with imperially inscribed poem around the rim dating to 1766
Dimensions
Diam. 20.6 x Thickness 0.6 cm (8 1/8 x 1/4 in.)
Weight 445 g
Provenance
[C. T. Loo & Co., New York, May 18, 1932] sold; to Grenville L. Winthrop, New York (1932-1943), 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. 393 by Max Loehr:

393 Large Disk
Clouded, translucent grayish green stone with variegated light brown markings on one side and large areas of dark brown and grass-green on the other side. Except for the slightly calcified areas, the surface, which is almost perfectly even, is polished to a high gloss. The perforation is imperceptibly conical. The relief curls form nearly straight rows intersecting at angles of 60 degrees. Where the rows cut into the raised inner and outer borders, an incised semicircle takes the place of the plastic curl.

Encircling the entire rim is an inscription in minutely carved seal characters. It consists of a poem of seventy words in praise fo the object and a signature and date, followed by a seal: Ch’ien-lung, ping-hsü, meng-ch’un-yüeh, yü-t’i; Ku-hsiang (Ch’ien-lung, ping-hsü year = 1766, “first month of Spring, Imperially inscribed, Flavor of Antiquity”). Late Eastern Chou.

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
1943
Object Number
1943.50.649
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Publication History

Dorothy W. Gillerman, ed., Grenville L. Winthrop: Retrospective for a Collector, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, 1969), no. 025, pp. 20-21

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. 393, pp. 266-267

Stephan Wolohojian and Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Harvard Art Museum/ Handbook, ed. Stephan Wolohojian, Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, 2008), pp. 14-15

Exhibition History

S427: Ancient Chinese Bronzes and Jades, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 10/20/1985 - 04/30/2008

Re-View: S228-230 Arts of Asia, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 05/31/2008 - 06/01/2013

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

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

Collection Highlights

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be 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