Dagger-axe (ge)

Historical period(s)
Shang dynasty, ca. 1600-1050 BCE
H x W: 23.6 x 6.8 cm (9 5/16 x 2 11/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Weapon and Armament

Weapon: dagger-axe (ge)

casting, China, Shang dynasty (ca. 1600 - ca. 1050 BCE), WWII-era provenance

From at least 1949 to 1953
F. Low-Beer & Co., New York, N.Y., from at least May 1949 [1]

From 1953
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Fritz Low-Beer (1906-1976) in March 23, 1953 [2]


[1] See the document confirming the examination of the object and approval by the Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, the Commission of Fine Arts, and Katherine Rhoades, in May and July 1949, copy in object file. The location of Fritz Low-Beer’s company is noted as New York. The collector and dealer Fritz Low-Beer partnered with Walter Hochstadter in New York under the name of F. Low-Beer & Co. in the 1940s. From 1949 he operated independently from Flushing, New York, and subsequently moved to Rome in the early 1950s.

[2] See Fritz Low-Beer & Co.’s invoice, dated March 23, 1953, where the object is listed as “Bronze weapon decorated with an elephant’s head and a ‘dragon’ Early Chou,” copy in object file.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Fritz Low-Beer

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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