Harvesting knife (hu 笏), fragment

Ceremonial implement; long, very thin blade form with sharp, beveled cutting edge; niched handle with perforation drilled from one side and cap shaped end; four circular perforations near upper edge drilled from another side; irregular cutting on one surface; translucent, light green with cloudy tan strata and scattered silvery incrustations and markings; high luster. (Break on upper edge, rough granular chips, blade edge minutely chipped.)

Acquired with a box, now lost.

Maker(s)
Artist: Longshan culture 龍山 (ca. 3000-ca. 1700 BCE)
Historical period(s)
Late Neolithic period, ca. 2000-1700 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 49.2 x 8.4 x 0.5 cm (19 3/8 x 3 5/16 x 3/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1916.160
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceremonial Object, Jade
Type

Ceremonial object: harvesting knife (hu)

Keywords
China, Late Neolithic period (ca. 5000 - ca. 1700 BCE), nephrite
Provenance

To 1916
Lai-Yuan and Company, New York, to 1916 [1]

From 1916 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Lai-Yuan and Company in 1916 [2]

From 1920
The Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] See Original Miscellaneous List, S.I. 873, pg. 188, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] 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
Lai-Yuan & Company (C.L. Freer source) ca. 1915-April 1921

Description

Ceremonial implement; long, very thin blade form with sharp, beveled cutting edge; niched handle with perforation drilled from one side and cap shaped end; four circular perforations near upper edge drilled from another side; irregular cutting on one surface; translucent, light green with cloudy tan strata and scattered silvery incrustations and markings; high luster. (Break on upper edge, rough granular chips, blade edge minutely chipped.)

Acquired with a box, now lost.

Published References
  • Minao Hayashi. Chūgoku kodai no ishibōchōkei gyokki to kotsusenkei gyokki [Two Types of Prehistorical Chinese Ceremonial Jade Objects: Stone Harvesting Knives and Bone Spades]. No. 54, 1982. pl. 5.
  • Minao Hayashi. Chūgoku kogyoku no kenkyū. Tokyo, 1991. pl. 5.
  • Geoffrey WIlls. Jade of the East., 1st ed. New York, 1972. fig. 21.
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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