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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
1943.50.78
Title
Small Jade Dagger-Axe with Serrated and Grooved Tang
Other Titles
Alternate Title: ko
Classification
Ritual Implements
Work Type
dagger-axe
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/204895
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
Greenish-yellow nephrite with light brown spots and traces of cinnabar on the surface
Dimensions
L. 15.7 x W. 5.3 x Thickness 0.3 cm (6 3/16 x 2 1/16 x 1/8 in.)
Weight 45 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. 43 by Max Loehr:

43 Small Dagger-Axe with Serrated and Grooved Tang
Greenish yellow jade with light brown spots and traces of cinnabar on the surface. Thin, crested blade, beveled along the upper and lower edges. At the tip, the bevels blend into the smoothly sloping surfaces. On each side of the base of the blade runs a band of incised lozenges, filled with small lozenges and triangles. The tang, which widens toward the butt, is decorated with four paired, flat bands, each with an incised line and a tiny notch at the end; the bands are separated by narrow grooves which form indentations along the back of the tang. An approximately cylindrical hole along the center axis adjoins the base of the blade. Late Shang.

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
1943
Object Number
1943.50.78
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. 43, p. 61

Exhibition History

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

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