Dagger-axe (ge 戈), fragment reworked

Ceremonial weapon of the type ko [ge] 戈; light gray with green cast, pale yellow and blue mottlings; two conical perforations in the tang, drilled from opposite sides of the blade; incised and channeled lines on butt and tang; pointed end and two cutting edges. (Slightly chipped.)

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Maker(s)
Artist: Erlitou culture δΊŒι‡Œι ­ (ca. 2000-1600 BCE)
Historical period(s)
Erlitou culture or early Shang dynasty, ca. 2000-ca. 1400 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 8.6 x 31.4 x 0.8 cm (3 3/8 x 12 3/8 x 5/16 in)
Geography
China, probably Henan province
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1915.108
On View Location
Freer Gallery 19: Afterlife: Ancient Chinese Jades
Classification(s)
Ceremonial Object, Jade
Type

Ceremonial object: dagger-axe (ge)

Keywords
China, Erligang period (ca. 1500 - ca. 1300 BCE), nephrite
Provenance

To 1915
Marcel Bing (1875-1920), Paris, France [1]

1915
Eugene Meyer (1875-1959) and Agnes E. Meyer (1887-1970), Washington, DC and Mt. Kisco, NY purchased on behalf of Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919) from Marcel Bing through C. T. Loo of Lai Yuan & Co., New York in early December 1915 [2]

1915 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Eugene Meyer on December 14, 1915 [3]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [4]

Notes:

[1] Bing's ownership is documented in several locations. See, for example: November 11, 1915 letter from Marcel Bing to Charles Lang Freer; letters from December 10 and 15 from Eugene Meyer to Charles Lang Freer; telegrams exchanged between Marcel Bing, Charles Lang Freer, and Eugene Meyer dating from November 15 to December 5, 1915; February 2, 1916 letter from Charles Lang Freer to Marcel Bing; and Freer Gallery of Art Original Bronze List S.I. 676. Copies of aforementioned documents in object file.

[2] Eugene Meyer, Agnes E. Meyer, and Charles Lang Freer negotiated with Marcel Bing to arrange a joint purchase of Bing's collection of 11 Chinese bronzes and 1 jade. See correspondence cited in note 1. The Meyers and Freer decided to divide the collection - Meyers acquiring 5 bronzes and Freer acquiring 6 bronzes in addition to the jade -- and the price, calculating each party's payment was based on the appraisal values assigned to each piece. The Meyers ultimately sent the entire payment to C. T. Loo, Lai Yuan & Company (sometimes spelled Lai-Yuan), who in turn wired money to Bing. Meyers made the payment in early December 1915, with Freer paying the Meyers for the objects destined for his collection on December 14, 1915. See also: Freer Gallery of Art, Original Bronze List, S. I. 670; invoices from Lai Yuan & Company addressed to Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Meyer and Mr. Charles L. Freer; and Dorota Chudzicka, "'In Love at First Sight Completely, Hopelessly, and Forever with Chinese Art': The Eugene and Agnes Meyer Collection of Chinese Art at the Freer Gallery of Art" in Collections Vol. 10, No. 3 (Summer 2014), p. 334-335, copies in object file. All the objects included in this large sale, which were originally divided between the Meyers and Freer are now in the museum's collection ( F1915.102; F1915.03a-b; F1915.104; F1915.105; F1915.106a-f; F1915.107; F1915.108; F1961.30a-b; F1961.32a-b; F1968.28; F1968.29).

[3] See Original Bronze List, S.I. 676, copy in object file. See also note 2.

[4] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer (1875-1959) and (1887-1970)
Marcel Bing 1875-1920
C.T. Loo 1880-1957
Lai-Yuan & Company (C.L. Freer source) ca. 1915-April 1921

Description

Ceremonial weapon of the type ko [ge] 戈; light gray with green cast, pale yellow and blue mottlings; two conical perforations in the tang, drilled from opposite sides of the blade; incised and channeled lines on butt and tang; pointed end and two cutting edges. (Slightly chipped.)

Published References
  • Dorota Chudzicka. In Love at First Sight Completely, Hopelessly, and Forever with Chinese Art: The Eugene and Agnes Meyer Collection of Chinese Art at the Freer Gallery of Art. vol. 10, no. 3, Summer 2004. 334-335.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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