Notched disk

Detail of a pattern
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At A Glance

On View
  • Period

    ca. 1600-ca. 1050 BCE
  • Geography

    probably Henan province, China
  • Material

    Jade (serpentine)
  • Dimension

    Diam x D: 33.3 × 0.8 cm (13 1/8 × 5/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Disk marked by three sweeping arcs with a coordinated pattern of serrated fins; inscribed straight lines perpendicular to one another on one face; opaque creamy gray-green with green and black inclusions. (One light crack runs from the perimeter to the hole.)
  • Provenance

    David David-Weill (1871-1952), Paris, France purchased in 1934 [1]
    Descendants of David David-Weill by inheritance [2]
    Sale, Sotheby's, Paris, Trésors de la Chine ancienne de la collection David David-Weill, December 16, 2015, lot 24 [3]
    Eskenazi Ltd., London, United Kingdom, purchased at the 2015 Sotheby's, London sale [4]
    From 2017
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Eskenazi Ltd., London, United Kingdom [5]
    [1] David David-Weill's collection number—D.W. 34/115—remains on the side of the object. This was the 115th object David David-Weill acquired in 1934. He likely purchased this notched disk through "the Karlbeck Syndicate," a network of museums and private collectors organized by Ovar Karlbeck, which he joined in 1939.
    David-Weill had the object in his collection at the time of his death in 1952.
    His family sold his collection in a series of auctions, beginning in 1959.
    David David-Weill was a Jewish, American-born French banker and chairman of Lazard Frères, his family's bank headquartered in Paris. He was president of the council of French National Museums from 1925 to 1939 and the vice president of the Friends of the Louvre until 1938. David-Weill was a life-long, prolific collector, acquiring a broad range of objects including French 18th-century art, ancient Chinese bronzes, jades, and silvers, and European cloisonné. During World War 2, Nazis plundered his collection and seized over 2000 objects, most of which were restituted after the War. The parts of David-Weill's collection that were not seized by Nazis were hidden and protected. It is unclear if this object was ever in Nazi possession. If it was, it was returned to David-Weill after the war, as this object was in his family's possession through 2015.
    [2] See note 3.
    [3] Sale, Sotheby's, Paris, Trésors de la Chine ancienne de la collection David David-Weill, December 16, 2015, lot 24 (illustrated).
    [4] See Eskenazi Ltd. documentation, copy in object file.
    [5] See note 4 and receipt from Eskenazi to Freer Gallery of Art, copy in object file.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Afterlife: Ancient Chinese Jades (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
    Early Chinese Art from Private Collections (November 3 to 25, 2016)
    Arts de la Chine Ancienne (1937)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    David David-Weill (1871-1952)
    David-Weill Family
    Eskenazi Ltd. (Founded 1923)
  • Origin

    probably Henan province, China
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — funds provided by Charles Lang Freer Endowment, Lois S. Raphling, and the Sylvia and Alexander Hassan Family Foundation
  • Type

    Ceremonial Object
  • On View

    Freer East Corridor: Looking Out, Looking In: The Art of Late Imperial China
  • Restrictions and Rights

    CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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