Axe (fu 斧)

Axe of the type fu 斧; broad curved blade edge and straight butt; large circular biconical perforation bored from both sides leaving sharp median ridge; metallic blue gray with buff patches; mirror-like finish and variegated hues. (Near pristine condition.)

Acquired with a box.

Maker(s)
Artist: Liangzhu culture 良渚 (ca. 3300-ca. 2250 BCE)
Historical period(s)
Late Neolithic period, ca. 3300-2250 BCE
Medium
Corundum with diaspore (aluminous metamorphic rock)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 11.8 x 14.6 x 0.7 cm (4 5/8 x 5 3/4 x 1/4 in) Diam (hole): 4.6 cm (1 13/16 in)
Geography
China, Lake Tai region
Credit Line
Collection of Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer. Gift of Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Freer Gallery of Art
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1998.4
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceremonial Object, Jade
Type

Ceremonial object: axe

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

To 1970
Eugene Meyer (1875-1959) and Agnes E. Meyer (1887-1970), Washington, DC, and Mt. Kisco, NY [1]

From 1970 to 1998
Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz, Armonk, NY, by descent from her parents, Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer in 1970 [2]

From 1992
Freer Gallery of Art, given by Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz in 1998 [3]

Notes:

[1] According to information provided by Thomas Lawton, the jade had been a part of the Meyer family collection for an extended period of time, see Jenny F. So’s Report, July 1997, in object file.

[2] See Jenny F. So's Report, cited in note 1 and Thomas Lawton's curatorial note, dated August 18, 1998, in object record.

[3] See Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz’s Deed of Gift, dated February 5, 1998, in object file.

Previous Owner(s)

Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer (1875-1959) and (1887-1970)
Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz 1913-2001

Description

Axe of the type fu 斧; broad curved blade edge and straight butt; large circular biconical perforation bored from both sides leaving sharp median ridge; metallic blue gray with buff patches; mirror-like finish and variegated hues. (Near pristine condition.)

Acquired with a box.

Published References
  • Liangzhu wenhua yuqi. Hong Kong, 1989. cat. nos. 223-24.
  • Chuka Jinmin Kyowakoku Nankin Hakubutsuin ten [Art Treasures from the Nanjing Museum Collection]. Exh. cat. Tokyo, 1981. cat. 5.
  • Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. pp. 216-217.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
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