Ram

This small figure of a ram is sculpted naturalistically with charming directness. It stands on short, stumpy legs, its heavy rump slightly set back. Both fore and hind haunches are described subtly as smooth undulating planes, and the head and neck are also modelled with similar fluidity. The ram’s distinguishing feature, the curled horns, stands out clearly from its head. No eyes are visible; a straight groove suggests a mouth. Two shallow depressions, serving apparently no descriptive function, appear inside the loop described by the horns.

Historical period(s)
Late Neolithic period, ca. 5000-1700 BCE
Medium
Serpentine
Dimensions
H x W x D: 7.3 x 5 x 11.4 cm (2 7/8 x 1 15/16 x 4 1/2 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1998.81
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Sculpture, Stone
Type

Sculpture

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

From 1960s to 1959
Abel William Bahr (1877-1959) [1]

From 1959 to 1971-1972
Edna H. Bahr (d. 1978), by descent from her father, Abel William Bahr (1877-1959) [2]

From 1971-1972 to ?
Robert Hatfield Ellsworth (1929-2014), purchased from Edna H. Bahr [3]

From ? to 1998
Carter Fine Art Limited, acquired from Robert Hatfield Ellsworth? [4]

From 1998
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Carter Fine Art Limited [5]

Notes:
[1] According to Curatorial Remark 7 in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See note 1.

[4] See note 1.

[5] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Caseset Limited
Edna H. Bahr died 1978
Abel William Bahr 1877-1959
Robert Hatfield Ellsworth 1929-2014

Description

This small figure of a ram is sculpted naturalistically with charming directness. It stands on short, stumpy legs, its heavy rump slightly set back. Both fore and hind haunches are described subtly as smooth undulating planes, and the head and neck are also modelled with similar fluidity. The ram's distinguishing feature, the curled horns, stands out clearly from its head. No eyes are visible; a straight groove suggests a mouth. Two shallow depressions, serving apparently no descriptive function, appear inside the loop described by the horns.

Published References
  • 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. 218-219.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
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