Disk (bi 璧) with incised glyph (fragment)

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: 17.5 x 1.4 cm (6 7/8 x 9/16 in)
Geography
China, Lake Tai region, but purportedly found in Shanxi
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1919.58a-c
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceremonial Object, Jade
Type

Ceremonial object: disk (bi)

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

Reportedly excavated in Shanxi [1]

Duanfang (1861-1911) [2]

To 1919
You Xiaoxi (late 19th-early 20th century), Shanghai to 1919 [3]

1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from You Xiaoxi in 1919 [4]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [5]

Notes:

[1] Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record states: "Formerly in the collection of the Viceroy Tuan Fang [Duanfang], and said to have been excavated in Shansi."

[2] See note 1.

[3] See Original Miscellaneous List, S.I. 1438, pg. 346, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[4] See note 3.

[5] 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

Published References
  • Julia Murray. Neolithic Chinese Jades in the Freer Gallery of Art. vol. 14, no. 11 Hong Kong, November 1983. p. 16.
  • Shuping Deng. Liangzhu yuqi shang de shenmi fuhao. No. 117 Taipei, 1992. p. 32, fig. 6.
  • 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.
  • You Xiaoxi. Description of antique Chinese paintings and brass wares as well as of porcelains of different ages. The Charles Lang Freer papers, 1919. p. 72, 77, No. 108.
  • Elizabeth Childs-Johnson, Fang Gu. Yuqi shidai: Meiguo bowuguan cang Zhongguo zaoqi yuqi [The Jade Age: Early Chinese Jades in American Museums]. Beijing, 2009. pp. 88-89.
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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