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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
1943.50.308
Title
Jade Crouching Bear in the Round
Classification
Ritual Implements
Work Type
figurine
Date
12th-10th 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/204747
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 grayish green nephrite
Dimensions
H. 1.9 x L. 4.5 x D. 2.5 cm (3/4 x 1 3/4 x 1 in.)
Weight 34 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. 157 by Max Loehr:

157 Crouching Bear in the Round
Carved from a truncate cone of light grayish green jade. The underside is flattened, and the limbs are set off from the body by a longitudinal channel and by shallow transverse grooves. The bear’s body, tapering toward the head, is ornamented with widely spaced Shang-style volutes and hooks; they are unrelated to the bear’s anatomy. The head is almost triangular, with the eyes carefully defined by double lines. The nose is subtly shaped by two short grooves; the mouth is formed by an unobtrusively incised line. Only the ears stand free. A perforation in the bottom channel consists of two connected, slanting holes. Late Shang.

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
1943
Object Number
1943.50.308
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. 157, p. 128

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

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