Axe (yue ้‰ž)

Blade, flared rectangular shape, center of sides with carved, shaped notches; pierced in three places; opaque marbled grays, greenish tones. (Flaws between suspension holes on front; soil adhering to surface; small nick in blade edge; abraded area between suspension holes near top on back.)

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Historical period(s)
Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1300-ca. 1050 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 16.1 x 8.8 x 1.1 cm (6 5/16 x 3 7/16 x 7/16 in)
Geography
China, probably Henan province, Anyang
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1987.673
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceremonial Object, Jade
Type

Ceremonial object: axe

Keywords
Anyang period (ca. 1300 - ca. 1050 BCE), China, nephrite, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

1936 to 1937
C. T. Loo & Company, New York, NY acquired in November 1936 [1]

1937 to 1959
Diedrich Abbes (1866-1959), Greenwich, Connecticut purchased from C. T. Loo & Company, New York on January 7, 1937 [2]

1959 to 1987
Arthur M. Sackler, New York, purchased from the estate of Diedrich Abbes on July 10, 1959 through Frank Caro, C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York [3]

From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler in 1987 [4]

Notes:

[1] See C. T. Loo & Company stock card no 65425: โ€œBluish and brown jade hatchet with three holes. In a box. January 7, 1937 sold Mr. Abbes,โ€ copy in object file. This card has no date, however, the preceding stock number, 65424 is dated to November 18, 1936. It is likely that this object was acquired at the same time.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See letter written on Arthur M. Sackler, M.D. letterhead acknowledging the "purchase and receipt of 17 pieces of stone carvings of the Shang, Yin-Chou and Chou periods from the Dietrich Abbes collection. The price in full, exclusive of commission, will be paid as indicated by this note in two installments," copy in object file. See also letter to Frank Caro from Arnold J. Bai of the law firm Goldstein and Peck, Bridgeport Connecticut, September 28, 1960, copy in object file. The letter asks Frank Caro to have (presumably) his client, Arthur M. Sackler, to send the final payment for the Diedrich Abbes Collection of jades to the law firm. Goldstein and Peck mistakenly identify Mr. Caroโ€™s business as C. T. Loo Company, when it was actually C. T. Loo Chinese Art.

[4] Pursuant to the agreement between Arthur M. Sackler and the Smithsonian Institution, dated July 28, 1982, legal title of the donated objects was transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on September 11, 1987.

Previous Owner(s)

Diedrich Abbes 1866-1959
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987
C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948

Description

Blade, flared rectangular shape, center of sides with carved, shaped notches; pierced in three places; opaque marbled grays, greenish tones. (Flaws between suspension holes on front; soil adhering to surface; small nick in blade edge; abraded area between suspension holes near top on back.)

Published References
  • Alfred Salmony. 3000 Years of Chinese Jade. Exh. cat. New York, January 10 - February 1, 1939. no. 33.
  • et al. Asian Art in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Inaugural Gift. Washington, 1987. cat. 42, p. 86.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
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