Dagger-axe (ge 戈)

Large emblematic weapon of the type ko [ge] 戈 (Broken in two and mended; one chip missing). Mottled gray, black and brownish nephrite, somewhat translucent; decorative band of parallel and criss-cross lines engraved on the butt of the blade; a conical perforation in the tang; inscription of thirty characters.

Acquired with a wooden box, lid now lost.

Historical period(s)
Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1300-1050 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 6.3 × 25.2 × 0.4 cm (2 1/2 × 9 15/16 × 1/8 in)
Geography
China, probably Henan province, Henan
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1919.17a-b
On View Location
Freer Gallery 19: Afterlife: Ancient Chinese Jades
Classification(s)
Ceremonial Object, Jade
Type

Ceremonial object: dagger-axe (ge)

Keywords
Anyang period (ca. 1300 - ca. 1050 BCE), China, nephrite
Provenance

Duanfang (1861-1911), Peking [1]

To 1919
You Xiaoxi Shanghai, to 1919 [2]

1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from You Xiaoxi in 1919 [3]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [4]

Notes:

[1] According to Curatorial Remark 2 in the object record.

[2] See Original Miscellaneous List, pg. 325, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[3] See note 2.

[4] 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
Duanfang 1861-1911
You Xiaoxi (C.L. Freer source) late 19th-early 20th century

Description

Large emblematic weapon of the type ko [ge] 戈 (Broken in two and mended; one chip missing). Mottled gray, black and brownish nephrite, somewhat translucent; decorative band of parallel and criss-cross lines engraved on the butt of the blade; a conical perforation in the tang; inscription of thirty characters.

Acquired with a wooden box, lid now lost.

Published References
  • Alfred Salmony. Chinese Jade Through the Wei Dynasty. New York, 1963. pl. 3, fig. 3.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Jades for Life and Death
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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