Ornament (shi飾) with mask

Very light translucent greenish nephrite ornament mask. Carved in relief and incised. Reverse pierced with six holes for fastening, and a central hole running from top to bottom.

Maker(s)
Artist: Longshan culture 龍山 (ca. 3000-ca. 1700 BCE)
Historical period(s)
Late Neolithic period, ca. 3000 - 1700 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 4.6 x 4.1 x 1.6 cm (1 13/16 x 1 5/8 x 5/8 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1953.9
On View Location
Freer Gallery 19: Afterlife: Ancient Chinese Jades
Classification(s)
Jade, Jewelry and Ornament
Type

Ornament

Keywords
carving, China, Late Neolithic period (ca. 5000 - ca. 1700 BCE), mask, nephrite, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To 1953
Alice Boney (1910-1988), New York. [1]

From 1953
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Alice Boney, New York. [2]

Notes:

[1] See Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record. See also Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920 file, Collections Management Office.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Alice Boney 1901-1988

Description

Very light translucent greenish nephrite ornament mask. Carved in relief and incised. Reverse pierced with six holes for fastening, and a central hole running from top to bottom.

Label

The face of this ornament resembles the relief versions on the chisel (F1915.87) and appliqu&‌eacute; (F1939.54), but it lacks their more complex outline. The smooth, flat sides of the head and neck may, in fact, have been refinished in ancient or, more likely, recent times. Several generations of owners might have drilled the complex system of holes on the back to accommodate their different ways of using this jade.

Published References
  • Geoffrey WIlls. Jade of the East., 1st ed. New York, 1972. fig. 36.
  • William Watson. The Art of Dynastic China. New York, 1981. ill. 583.
  • Alfred Salmony. Chinese Jade Through the Wei Dynasty. New York, 1963. cat. 6a,b,c, pl. 12.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 30.
  • Doris J. Dohrenwend. Jade Demonic Images from Early China. vol. 10 Washington and Ann Arbor, 1975. pp. 55-78, fig. 6a-b.
  • Wu Hung. "一组早期的玉石雕刻." I'tsu tsao-ch'i ti yu-shig tiao-k'o [A Group of Early Jade and Stone Carvings]., 1979. p. 69, fig. 13.
  • Richard Gump. Jade: Stone of Heaven., 1st ed. Garden City, 1962. p. 90.
  • Elizabeth Childs-Johnson, Fang Gu. Yuqi shidai: Meiguo bowuguan cang Zhongguo zaoqi yuqi [The Jade Age: Early Chinese Jades in American Museums]. Beijing, 2009. p. 147.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Jades for Life and Death
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