Dagger-axe (ge 戈), fragment reworked

Blade, pointed, slightly curved with a low ridge in the center; band of incised lozenges around the center; pierced twice; translucent greenish tan. (Mostly calcified; brown surface deposit.)

Maker(s)
Artist: Erlitou culture 二里頭 (ca. 2000-1600 BCE)
Historical period(s)
Erlitou culture or early Shang dynasty, ca. 2000-ca. 1400 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 7.6 x 23.8 x 0.5 cm (3 x 9 3/8 x 3/16 in)
Geography
China, probably Henan province
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1987.701
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceremonial Object, Jade
Type

Ceremonial object: dagger-axe (ge)

Keywords
China, Erligang period (ca. 1500 - ca. 1300 BCE), nephrite, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

C. T. Loo & Company, Paris, France and New York, NY [1]

As early as 1939 to 1959
Diedrich Abbes Collection, Greenwich, CT [2]

1959 to 1987
Arthur M. Sackler, New York, NY 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 on September 11, 1987 [4]

Notes:

[1] C. T. Loo & Company stock number 81301, according to information provided by the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, October 9, 2009.

[2] Object published in “3000 Years of Chinese Jade,” Arden Gallery, New York (10 January to 11 February 1939), cat. 10 (illustrated); listed as owned by Diedrich Abbes Collection. The sale of this object in 1959 is documented in information provided by the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, 9 October 2009, see note 3.

[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 provided by the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation on July 9, 2009 in object file. For Frank Caro’s involvement, see: 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. Caro’s business as C. T. Loo Company, when it was called 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, pointed, slightly curved with a low ridge in the center; band of incised lozenges around the center; pierced twice; translucent greenish tan. (Mostly calcified; brown surface deposit.)

Published References
  • et al. Asian Art in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Inaugural Gift. Washington, 1987. cat. 50, p. 94.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
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