Forked blade (zhang 璋)

Ceremonial implement of very dark grayish green jade with brownish patination on tang and edges; blade slightly concave on both sides; lateral dull edges flaring to form sharp concave edge on end; perforation in tang that is divided from the blade proper by triangular projections at either edge. One side of tang 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: 36.5 x 7.2 x 0.8 cm (14 3/8 x 2 7/8 x 5/16 in)
Geography
China, probably Shaanxi province, Shenmu Shimao
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1916.492a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceremonial Object, Jade
Type

Ceremonial object: forked blade (zhang)

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

To 1916
You Xiaoxi, Shanghai, to 1916 [1]

From 1916 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from You Xiaoxi, in New York in 1916 [2]

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

Notes:

[1] See Original Miscellaneous List, S.I. 1038, pg. 230, 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
You Xiaoxi (C.L. Freer source) late 19th-early 20th century

Description

Ceremonial implement of very dark grayish green jade with brownish patination on tang and edges; blade slightly concave on both sides; lateral dull edges flaring to form sharp concave edge on end; perforation in tang that is divided from the blade proper by triangular projections at either edge. One side of tang chipped.

Acquired with a box, now lost.

Published References
  • You Xiaoxi, Hsiao-chi Yu in, Chi-Tseng Chang. "游筱溪." Masterpieces of Chinese National Art: The Collection of Mr. Seaouke'e Yue. Shanghai, 1916. no. 14.
  • Na Chih-liang. "玉器通史." Yu ch'i t'ung shih [A General Study of Chinese Jade]. Hong Kong, 1965. p. 21, fig. 25.
  • Richard Gump. Jade: Stone of Heaven., 1st ed. Garden City, 1962. p. 46.
  • 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. p. 54, fig. 60.
  • Minao Hayashi. Chūgoku kogyoku no kenkyū. Tokyo, 1991. p. 487, fig. 6: 97.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
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