Round axe, made from a collared disk

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2

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At A Glance

On View
  • Period

    ca. 1250-ca. 1050 BCE
  • Geography

    Anyang, probably Henan province, China
  • Material

    Jade (nephrite)
  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 19.8 x 20 x 0.8 cm (7 13/16 x 7 7/8 x 5/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Flanged pierced pi [bi] 璧 disk with lateral serrations arranged on either side of the central orifice. Buff colored with some darker mottling. The lower edge is ground to a blunt cutting edge.
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Duanfang 端方 (1861-1911)
    Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer ((1875-1959) and (1887-1970))
  • Provenance

    Duanfang (1861-1911) [1]
    From at least 1969 to 1970
    Eugene Meyer (1875-1959) and Agnes E. Meyer (1887-1970), Washington, DC, and Mt. Kisco, NY [2]
    From 1970
    Freer Gallery of Art, bequeathed by Agnes E. Meyer, 1970 [3]
    [1] The jade is included in Duanfang’s catalogue of his jade collection, published posthumously in 1936 with a preface by Wang Dalong, see Duanfang, Taozhai gu yu tu, vol. 1 (Shanghai, 1936), p. 1:3a.
    Duanfang was a late Qing government official and a well known collector of Chinese art. See also Thomas Lawton, A Time of Transition: Two Collectors of Chinese Art (Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, 1991), pp. 37-39, fig. 37.
    An inscription on the box with which the jade was acquired reads: “Zhou, gu bi, Tao zhai zhen cang"; a reference to the Taozhai, Duanfang’s studio provides another indication that the jade was in Duanfang’s collection.
    [2] The object is included in Agnes E. Meyer’s will and testament dated December 23, 1969, copy in object file.
    [3] See Agnes E. Meyer’s will and testament cited in note 2.
  • Origin

    Anyang, probably Henan province, China
  • Credit Line

    Gift of Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer
  • Type

    Ceremonial Object
  • On View

    Sackler Gallery 23b: Anyang: China's Ancient City of Kings
  • Restrictions and Rights

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