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Axe (fu 斧)

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2

Terms of Use

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At A Glance

On View
  • Period

    ca. 3300-2250 BCE
  • Geography

    Lake Tai region, China
  • Material

    Corundum with diaspore (aluminous metamorphic rock)
  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 11.8 x 14.6 x 0.7 cm (4 5/8 x 5 3/4 x 1/4 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Axe of the type fu 斧; broad curved blade edge and straight butt; large circular biconical perforation bored from both sides leaving sharp median ridge; metallic blue gray with buff patches; mirror-like finish and variegated hues. (Near pristine condition.)
    Acquired with a box.
  • Provenance

    To 1970
    Eugene Meyer (1875-1959) and Agnes E. Meyer (1887-1970), Washington, DC, and Mt. Kisco, NY [1]
    From 1970 to 1998
    Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz, Armonk, NY, by descent from her parents, Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer in 1970 [2]
    From 1992
    Freer Gallery of Art, given by Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz in 1998 [3]
    [1] According to information provided by Thomas Lawton, the jade had been a part of the Meyer family collection for an extended period of time, see Jenny F. So’s Report, July 1997, in object file.
    [2] See Jenny F. So's Report, cited in note 1 and Thomas Lawton's curatorial note, dated August 18, 1998, in object record.
    [3] See Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz’s Deed of Gift, dated February 5, 1998, in object file.
  • 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)
    Beyond the Legacy--Anniversary Acquisitions of the Freer Gallery of Art (October 11, 1998 to April 11, 1999)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer ((1875-1959) and (1887-1970))
    Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz (1913-2001)
  • Origin

    Lake Tai region, China
  • Culture

    Liangzhu culture, ca. 3300-ca. 2250 BCE
  • Credit Line

    Collection of Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer. Gift of Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Freer Gallery of Art
  • 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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