Axe (fu 斧)

Ceremonial object of axe head shape, of the type fu 斧 or yueh [yue] 鉞; broad and flat with rounded blade edge, sides tapering to a square end with curved boring on edge and a conical perforation directly under it; semitranslucent, richly mottled dark greens with iridescent patches and scattered areas of dull red; wide shallow groove on one surface; upper edge rough; mirror like surface.

Historical period(s)
Late Neolithic period, ca. 2000-1700 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 15.8 x 22.6 x 0.6 cm (6 3/16 x 8 7/8 x 1/4 in) Diam (hole): 1.4 cm (9/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
F1917.78
On View Location
Freer Gallery 19: Afterlife: Ancient Chinese Jades
Classification(s)
Ceremonial Object, Jade
Type

Ceremonial object

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

To 1917
Li Wenqing (late 19th-early 20th century), Shanghai, to 1917 [1]

From 1917 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Li Wenqing, in New York, in 1917 [2]

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

Notes:

[1] See Original Miscellaneous List, S.I. 1165, pg. 267, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. See also, Voucher No. 18, December 1916.

[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
Li Wenqing (C.L. Freer source) ca. 1869 - 1931

Description

Ceremonial object of axe head shape, of the type fu 斧 or yueh [yue] 鉞; broad and flat with rounded blade edge, sides tapering to a square end with curved boring on edge and a conical perforation directly under it; semitranslucent, richly mottled dark greens with iridescent patches and scattered areas of dull red; wide shallow groove on one surface; upper edge rough; mirror like surface.

Published References
  • Geoffrey WIlls. Jade of the East., 1st ed. New York, 1972. fig. 29.
  • Sueji Umehara. Shina kogyoku zuroku (Selected Specimens of Chinese Archaic Jade). Kyoto, 1955. pl. 25.
  • Julia Murray. Neolithic Chinese Jades in the Freer Gallery of Art. vol. 14, no. 11 Hong Kong, November 1983. p. 22.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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