Harvesting knife (hu 笏), fragment

Fashioned of tannish green stone with irregularly shaped, multicolored flecks throughout, the blade is highly polished on both surfaces. The blade, which has been reworked at one upper corner, has an otherwise straight back. Both of the oblique, shorter edges are straight. The curved cutting edge is beveled on both sides and is marked by irregular indentations that appear to have resulted from hard wear. Four large conical perforations appear along the upper edge of the blade. A fifth hole, also conical and drilled from the same side as the other four, is still visible in the reworked portion of the upper corner. A sixth, smaller conical perforation, drilled from the opposite side, occurs on the horizontal axis in the smaller portion of the blade.

Acquired with an inscribed box.

Maker(s)
Artist: Longshan culture 龍山 (ca. 3000-ca. 1700 BCE)
Historical period(s)
Late Neolithic period, ca. 2000-1700 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 49.4 x 17.2 x 0.6 cm (19 7/16 x 6 3/4 x 1/4 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Elizabeth Lorentz
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1983.3a-c
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceremonial Object, Jade
Type

Ceremonial object: harvesting knife (hu)

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

Duanfang (1861-1911), Peking [1]

From the early 1900s
Mrs. Agnes E. Meyer, presumably acquired from an unidentified dealer, New York in the early 1900s [2]

To 1983
Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz, Armonk, New York, given by her mother, Mrs. Agnes E. Meyer, to 1983 [3]

From 1983
Freer Gallery of Art, given by Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz in 1983 [4]

Notes:

[1] According to Curatorial Remark 2, T. Lawton, 1983, in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Duanfang 1861-1911
Agnes E. Meyer 1887-1970
Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz 1913-2001

Description

Fashioned of tannish green stone with irregularly shaped, multicolored flecks throughout, the blade is highly polished on both surfaces. The blade, which has been reworked at one upper corner, has an otherwise straight back. Both of the oblique, shorter edges are straight. The curved cutting edge is beveled on both sides and is marked by irregular indentations that appear to have resulted from hard wear. Four large conical perforations appear along the upper edge of the blade. A fifth hole, also conical and drilled from the same side as the other four, is still visible in the reworked portion of the upper corner. A sixth, smaller conical perforation, drilled from the opposite side, occurs on the horizontal axis in the smaller portion of the blade.

Acquired with an inscribed box.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
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