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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
1943.50.317
Title
Jade Figure of a Kneeling Man
Classification
Ritual Implements
Work Type
figurine
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/204794
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
Calcified, bone-colored nephrite
Dimensions
H. 4.3 x W. 2.8 cm (1 11/16 x 1 1/8 in.)
Weight 54 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. 121 by Max Loehr:

121 Figure of a Kneeling Man
Full-round, dwarfish figure in a kneeling posture, summarily fashioned of bone-colored, calcified jade. The large face shows a very low forehead; slightly relieved striated eyebrows; eyes which are shaped like human eyes; a broad nose; and a pouting, thin-lipped mouth. As in a preceding figurines, the hands meet in front. The modeling of the legs consists simply of a groove running around from behind one knee to the other. The base is squarish. Probably Shang.

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
1943
Object Number
1943.50.317
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. 121, p. 111

Meryl Faith Cohen, "Ancient Chinese Jade Figures in the Winthrop Collection: An Anthropological Inquiry" (thesis (certificate in conservation), Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, March 1990), Unpublished, pp. 1-110 passim

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