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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
1943.50.29
Title
Heavy Trapezoidal Jade Knife
Classification
Ritual Implements
Work Type
knife
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/205166
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 very faint markings
Dimensions
L. 51.4 x W. 7.8 x Thickness 0.9 cm (20 1/4 x 3 1/16 x 3/8 in.)
Weight 741 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. 208 by Max Loehr:

208 Heavy Trapezoidal Knife
Black stone, with only the faintest markings. The blade has a straight back and rounded lateral edges, which slant at different angles. The cutting edge was sharpened by being beveled from both sides. Three equidistant conical holes are aligned along the back, all of them drilled from the upper side. A smaller suspension hole, drilled from the reverse side, is near the right end; a fracture runs diagonally across this end. Western Chou(?).

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
1943
Object Number
1943.50.29
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. 208, p. 163

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

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