In the event of a government shutdown, the National Museum of Asian Art will remain OPEN through at least Saturday, October 7, by using prior year funds. Visit si.edu for updates.

Disk (bi 璧)

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2
IIIF

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

    F1956.16
  • EDAN ID

    edanmdm:fsg_F1956.16

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]
    Notes:
    [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.

    The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The National Museum of Asian Art welcomes information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Keep Exploring