Disk (bi 璧) with incised glyph

Very large perforated disk of the type pi [bi] 璧; bored from both sides, leaving median ridge; mottled dark and light greens, golden tan, and brown; cream-colored cloudings and white veins of decomposition on obverse, profuse on reverse; decoration: light incised device. (Break and chip on rim.)

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)
Dimensions
Diam x D: 31.8 x 1.4 cm (12 1/2 x 9/16 in) Diam (hole): 4.6 cm (1 13/16 in) H x W (inscription): 4.8 × 1.9 cm (1 7/8 × 3/4 in)
Geography
China, Lake Tai region
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
F1917.79
On View Location
Freer Gallery 19: Afterlife: Ancient Chinese Jades
Classification(s)
Ceremonial Object, Jade
Type

Ceremonial object

Keywords
bird, China, inscription, 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. 1166, pg. 268, 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

Very large perforated disk of the type pi [bi] 璧; bored from both sides, leaving median ridge; mottled dark and light greens, golden tan, and brown; cream-colored cloudings and white veins of decomposition on obverse, profuse on reverse; decoration: light incised device. (Break and chip on rim.)

Published References
  • Hayashi Minao. Chugoku kodai no sakegame., reprint: Kokogaku zasshi, vol. 65, no. 2 (1979) pp. 97-118. Tokyo, 1979. pl. 22.
  • Benjamin Rowland, Laurence Sickman, H. G. Henderson, Robert Treat Paine, Richard Ettinghausen, Eric Schroeder. The University Prints. Oriental Art Series O 4 vols. Newton, Massachusetts, 1938-1941. Section 2: Early Chinese Art, pl. 107.
  • Alfred Salmony. Chinese Jade Through the Wei Dynasty. New York, 1963. pl. 7, fig. 3.
  • Na Chih-liang. "玉器通史." Yu ch'i t'ung shih (A General Study of Chinese Jade). Hong Kong, 1965. p. 6, fig. 9.
  • Julia Murray. Neolithic Chinese Jades in the Freer Gallery of Art. vol. 14, no. 11 Hong Kong, November 1983. p. 16.
  • Shuping Deng. Tianming xuanniao, jianger shengshang: guyu huawen suo fanying de gudai xinyang. No. 42 Taipei, 1986. p. 19, fig. 6.
  • Hayashi Minao. Jade of the Liang-chu Culture. no. 360 Tokyo, March 1981. p. 23, fig. 3b.
  • Shuping Deng. Liangzhu yuqi shang de shenmi fuhao. No. 117 Taipei, 1992. p. 32, fig. 8.
  • Wu Hung. Bird Motifs in Eastern Yi Art. vol. 16, no. 10 Hong Kong, October 1985. p. 35.
  • Elizabeth Childs-Johnson. Dragons, Masks, Axes and Blades from Four Newly-documented Jade-producing Cultures of Ancient China. vol. 19, no. 4 Hong Kong, 1988. p. 36, fig. 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. 110, p. 47.
  • Rende You. Shouwen yu xiaowen de youhuo: Xinfaxian de chuanshi Longshan wenhua yuqi. No. 138 Taipei, 1994. p. 55, fig. 8.
  • Chuping Dong. Liangzhu wenhua chuangshi shenhua buzheng. No. 174, 1997. p. 78, fig. 3.
  • Chang Wen-chi. "中国玉器歷代史." Chung-kuo yu ch'i li tai shih. Hong Kong, 1978. p. 87.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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