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A claw-shaped curved flat jade object, almost C-shaped, with an animal carved into it. 

The dragon-like animal head at the top faces right with its forepaw raised up, close against itself. It’s a creamy brown color with green speckled variations throughout its carved and polished surfaced. It has a hooked snout that curls upward and an ear that curls back. There’s a hole in the center, and another at the top in the mouth to help this object function as a pendant.

Gallery Text

During the Warring States and Han periods, jades functioned not only as ritual and burial items, but also as objects of personal adornment for the living. Other luxury materials, such as gold, bronze, and glass began to be incorporated with jades with greater frequency.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
1943.50.354
Title
Claw-Shaped Jade Pendant
Classification
Ritual Implements
Work Type
pendant
Date
2nd-1st century BCE (?)
Places
Creation Place: East Asia, China
Period
Han dynasty, Western Han period, 206 BCE-9 CE
Culture
Chinese
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/205007

Location

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
Greenish brown and creamy light brown, highly polished nephrite
Dimensions
Chord 8.6 x W. 1.7 x Thickness 0.4 cm (3 3/8 x 11/16 x 3/16 in.)
Weight 11 g

Provenance

Recorded Ownership History
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)

500 Claw-shaped Pendant
Greenish brown and creamy light brown, highly polished jade. The slender claw-shaped body with its neatly carved marginal facets terminates in the head and forepaw of a dragon. It is a superbly designed head, most conspicuous for the gracefully upcurved snout. There are two small suspension holes, one drilled through the mouth and one halfway down the body. 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
1943.50.354
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
Permissions

THIS WORK MAY NOT BE LENT BY THE TERMS OF ITS ACQUISITION TO THE HARVARD ART MUSEUMS.

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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. 500, p. 339

Exhibition History

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

Subjects and Contexts

  • Google Art Project

Verification Level

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