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Gallery Text

In Neolithic China, nephrite and other beautiful stones were fashioned into nonfunctional ceremonial blades and ritual implements that were buried in the graves of important people. Many of the same types of jades, such as the diskshaped ritual implement known as a bi, were used during subsequent periods as well.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1943.50.59
Title
Zhang Blade
Classification
Ritual Implements
Work Type
scepter
Date
Longshan or Erlitou culture, c. 2000 - c. 1700 BCE
Places
Creation Place: East Asia, China
Period
Neolithic period
Culture
Chinese
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/204924
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
Black nephrite with faint markings
Dimensions
H. 38 x W. 10.4 x Thickness 0.8 cm (14 15/16 x 4 1/8 x 5/16 in.)
Weight 446 g
Provenance
[Ton-Ying & Co., January 8, 1935] sold; to Grenville L. Winthrop, New York (1935-1943), 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. 220 by Max Loehr:

220 Scepter
Black jade with faint markings. Flat blade with concave sides, flaring strongly toward the two prongs of its concave upper edge, which is sharpened from one side only. The base juts far out over the tang, forming descending projections with hooks pointing upward. The perforation of the tang is conical, drilled from one side. On the same side, a longitudinal saw-cut runs along the edge of the tang and into the lower portion of the blade. Western Chou.

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
1943
Object Number
1943.50.59
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. 220, pp. 170-171

Jenny So, Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2019), cat. no. 7A, pp. 92-94

Exhibition History

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