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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
1943.50.128
Title
Trapezoidal Jade Plaque with Zoomorphous Ornament
Classification
Ritual Implements
Work Type
ornament
Date
14th-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/205168
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
Mottled greenish and light brown nephrite, with red stains on one side
Dimensions
H. 6.4 x W. 5.5 x Thickness 0.9 cm (2 1/2 x 2 3/16 x 3/8 in.)
Weight 67 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. 182 by Max Loehr:

182 Trapezoidal Plaque with Zoomorphic Ornament
Mottled greenish and light brown jade, with red stains on one side. Along the irregular top and back edges, which like the concave lower edge are recessed, there are incised transverse scores. The front edge, by contrast, is adapted to the profile of an animal head that appears identically on both sides. Adjoining the face, a set of three angular spirals with a claw beneath them extends to the back; a broad, finely grooved band rises above the horn and in consecutive angles swept back, down, upward, and back again, forming a large meander which adds both a contrasting texture and a unifying strength to the design as a whole. A small biconical hole cuts into the lower margin of the relieved design. Shang.

The curvature of the lower projection suggests that this piece was carved from a disk fragment, and the very irregular shape of the edges seems to support this assumption.

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
1943
Object Number
1943.50.128
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. 182, p. 140

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