Pendant in form of a mask

The main element of the design of this ornamental pendant is a pair of “eyes,” drilled from the front, with perforated slits for “eyebrows,” and a swirling series of gently undulating curves. Below the eyes are seven sets of paired, pointed, teeth-like projections. Extending from the sides are symmetrically curved and hooked elements. The top edge is straight. A hole is drilled from both sides between the eyes. The pendant is worked only on one surface; the back is flat and simply polished.

Maker(s)
Artist: Hongshan culture 紅山 (ca. 3800-ca. 2700 BCE)
Historical period(s)
Late Neolithic period, ca. 3500-3000 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 5.7 x 17.2 x 0.4 cm (2 1/4 x 6 3/4 x 3/16 in)
Geography
Northeast China
Credit Line
Gift of Therese and Erwin Harris
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1991.52
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Jade, Jewelry and Ornament
Type

Pendant

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

To about 1966
Estate of Col. Lewis F. Acker, to about 1966 [1]

From about 1966 to 1991
Therese and Erwin Harris, Coconut Grove, FL, purchased from Pennington's Antiques and/or Edward J. Koch Antiques, Hallandale, FL, in about 1966 [2]

From 1991
Freer Gallery of Art, given by Therese and Erwin Harris in 1991

Notes:

[1] According to a letter in the object file from Erwin Harris (dated December 9, 1991), this object was in the collection of U.S. Army Colonel Lewis F. Acker, a U.S. Liaison Officer attached to the Nationalist China Army. All of the collection evidently left China with Col. Acker at the conclusion of the war in 1945-1946. Mr. Harris purchased this object 20 years later, from the sale of Col. Acker's Estate through two antique dealers, Pennington's Antiques and Edward J. Koch Antiques, in Hallandale, FL (see Curatorial Note 5 in the object record).

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Estate of Col. Lewis F. Acker
Edward J. Koch Antiques
Pennington's Antiques
Therese and Erwin Harris
Col. Lewis F. Acker 1897-1963

Description

The main element of the design of this ornamental pendant is a pair of "eyes," drilled from the front, with perforated slits for “eyebrows,” and a swirling series of gently undulating curves. Below the eyes are seven sets of paired, pointed, teeth-like projections. Extending from the sides are symmetrically curved and hooked elements. The top edge is straight. A hole is drilled from both sides between the eyes. The pendant is worked only on one surface; the back is flat and simply polished.

Published References
  • Shuping Deng. Neolithic jades in the collection of the National Palace Museum. no. 114 Tabei Shi, September 1992. p. 5, fig. 2.
  • The Harris Collection: Important Early Chinese Art. New York, March 2017. p. 8, fig. 1.
  • Shuping Deng. You ‘jia’ dao ‘zhen’ de jianxin manchanglu: Yi Hongshan yuqi weili. No. 217 Taipei, 2001. p. 17, fig. 15.
  • 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. 24-25.
  • Dashun Guo. Hongshan wenhua gouyunxing yupei yanjiu: Liaohe wenming xunli zhisi. No. 164 Taipei, 1996. p. 48, fig. 13.
  • Elizabeth Childs-Johnson. Jades of the Hongshan Culture: The Dragon and Fertility Cult Worship. tome XLVI, 1991. p. 85, fig. 4.
  • Meili Yang. Juanyunshan (Jiaoji) Cuishi Shuilinlin: Xinshiqi Shidai Beifangxi Huanxing Yuqi Xilie zhi yi: Gouyun Xingqi. No. 126 Taipei, 1993. p. 86, fig. 11.
  • Jenny F. So. A Hongshan Jade Pendant in the Freer Gallery of Art. Hong Kong, May 1993. pp. 87-92.
  • Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture., July 2009. p. 196, fig. 19c.
  • Andrew Lawler. Beyond the Yellow River: How China Became China. vol. 325 no.5943 Washington, August 21, 2009. p. 935.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
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