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Disk (bi 璧)

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2

Terms of Use

Usage Conditions Apply

At A Glance

On View
  • Period

    ca. 2250-1900 BCE
  • Geography

    Northwest China
  • Material

    Jade (nephrite)
  • Dimension

    Diam x D: 46 x 1.5 cm (18 1/8 x 9/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Pi [bi] 璧. Mottled green and brown nephrite.
    (Jenny F. So, from Jade Project Database) Largest disk in the collection, and among the largest known. Conical hole with pronounced slanted wall. Gray green nephrite with dark green banding in original colors, not altered. Inhomogeneous but stratified texture unlike that often seen on Liangzhu 良渚 disks. Uneven surface, with remains of curved slice mark on one face. Finished size is almost size of original boulder, with “skin” spanning almost half the circumference.
  • Provenance

    To 1956
    Tonying and Company, New York [1]
    From 1956
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Tonying and Company, New York [2]
    [1] See Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record. See also Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920 file, Collections Management Office.
    [2] See note 1.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Afterlife: Ancient Chinese Jades (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
    Ancient Chinese Jades and Bronzes (November 20, 2010 to January 3, 2016)
    Chinese Art (January 1, 1963 to March 6, 1981)
    Chinese Bronze, Jade, Metalwork (March 1, 1957 to January 1, 1963)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Tonying and Company 通運公司 (established 1902)
  • Origin

    Northwest China
  • Culture

    Qijia culture, ca. 2250-ca.1900 BCE
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

    Ceremonial Object
  • On View

    Freer Gallery 19: Afterlife: Ancient Chinese Jades
  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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