Straight chisel (gui圭) with face and bird

citation

Ceremonial implement of the type kuei [gui 圭]; short narrow form with beveled end and perforated handle; mottled dark olive brown, reddish brown, olive green, and orange; decoration: in sensible relief and channeled, a demon head on one side, a spread eagle on reverse, triple grooves across handle; dull luster.

Maker(s)
Artist: Longshan culture 龍山 (ca. 3000 - ca. 1700 BCE)
Historical period(s)
Late Neolithic period, ca. 3000-ca. 1700 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 18.3 x 3.4 x 0.8 cm (7 3/16 x 1 5/16 x 5/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
F1915.87
On View Location
Freer Gallery 19: Afterlife: Ancient Chinese Jades
Classification(s)
Ceremonial Object, Jade
Type

Ceremonial object

Keywords
bird, China, gui, Late Neolithic period (ca. 5000 - ca. 1700 BCE), nephrite
Provenance

To 1915
Huang Zhonghui (circa 1870- after 1923), to 1915 [1]

From 1915 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Huang Zhonghui, in New York, in 1915 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] See Original Miscellaneous List, S.I. 658, pg. 158, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. See also, Curatorial Remarks.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Huang Zhonghui (C.L. Freer source) ca. 1870-after 1923

Description

Ceremonial implement of the type kuei [gui 圭]; short narrow form with beveled end and perforated handle; mottled dark olive brown, reddish brown, olive green, and orange; decoration: in sensible relief and channeled, a demon head on one side, a spread eagle on reverse, triple grooves across handle; dull luster.

Label

Prolonged handling or aggressive cleaning long ago probably wore away the fine thread relief decoration of a human face on the front and a heraldic bird in profile on the reverse of this gui. These motifs and their rendering link this chisel to the late phase of the Longshan culture.

Published References
  • Sherman Lee. The Freer's Studies in Connoisseurship (Review): Museum News. vol. 44, no. 1 New York, Spring 1984. pp. 69-70, fig. 10.
  • Omura Seigai. Shina bijutsu-shi choso-hen (History of Chinese Bronzes and Sculpture). 3 vols., Tokyo, 1915-1920. pl. 2, fig. 6.
  • Alfred Salmony. Carved Jade of Ancient China. Berkeley, 1938. pl. 31, no. 1.
  • Sueji Umehara. Shina kogyoku zuroku (Selected Specimens of Chinese Archaic Jade). Kyoto, 1955. pl. 44.
  • Na Chih-liang. Yu ch'i t'ung shih (A General Study of Chinese Jade). Hong Kong, 1965. p. 2, fig. 3.
  • Doris J. Dohrenwend. Jade Demonic Images from Early China. vol. 10 Washington and Ann Arbor, 1975. pp. 55-78, fig. 37a.
  • Wu Hung. I'tsu tsao-ch'i ti yu-shig tiao-k'o (A Group of Early Jade and Stone Carvings)., 1979. p. 70, fig. 17.
  • William Willetts. Foundations of Chinese Art from Neolithic Pottery to Modern Architecture. New York, 1965. p. 63.
  • Wu Hung. Bird Motifs in Eastern Yi Art. vol. 16, no. 10 Hong Kong, October 1985. p. 38.
  • Hayashi Minao. In-kyo Fuhao-bo shutsudo no gyokki jakkan ni taisuru chushaku. no. 58 Tokyo, March 1986. p. 47.
  • 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. 168-169.
  • Na Chih-liang. Yu ch'i tz'u t'ien (Dictionary of Chinese Jade). Taipei, 1982. p. 187, fig. 1624.
  • Meili Yang. Yuqi shang de yingwen zhuti (shang). No. 181 Taipei, 1998. p. 69, fig. 3.
  • Minao Hayashi. Chūgoku kogyokuki sōsetsu. Tokyo, 1999. p. 556, fig. 7: 100.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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