Disk (bi 璧)

Perforated disk of the type pi [bi] 璧; mottled shades of olive green and brown with spots of translucent strata in lighter tones; surface dull and weathered; incised decoration alike on both sides depicts phoenix (?) and plant forms and a bovine like mask; outer edge grooved. (Small blemishes and cracks, rough area on rim where whitish disintegrated portion has been partly removed, narrowing the margin.)

Acquired with a box, now lost.

Maker(s)
Artist: Liangzhu culture 良渚 (ca. 3300-ca. 2250 BCE)
Historical period(s)
Late Neolithic period, ca. 3300-2250 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite (actinolite/tremolite)
Dimensions
Diam x D: 27.3 x 1.7 cm (10 3/4 x 5/8 in)
Geography
China, Lake Tai region, but purportedly found in Shaanxi
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1916.501
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceremonial Object, Jade
Type

Ceremonial object: disk (bi)

Keywords
China, Late Neolithic period (ca. 5000 - ca. 1700 BCE), nephrite, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911)
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. 1047, pg. 233, 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

Perforated disk of the type pi [bi] 璧; mottled shades of olive green and brown with spots of translucent strata in lighter tones; surface dull and weathered; incised decoration alike on both sides depicts phoenix (?) and plant forms and a bovine like mask; outer edge grooved. (Small blemishes and cracks, rough area on rim where whitish disintegrated portion has been partly removed, narrowing the margin.)

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. 22.
  • Frederick William Gookin. Catalogue of a Loan Exhibition of Ancient Chinese Paintings, Sculptures and Jade Objects from the Collection formed by Charles Lang Freer, and Given by Him to the Nation through the Smithsonian Institution, Exhibition November 15 to December 8, 1917. Exh. cat. Chicago, November 15 - December 8, 1917. no. 111, p. 47.
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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