Axe (fu 斧)

citation

The rectangular axe blade of mottled jade is slightly splayed toward the blunt, not quite symmetrically curved edge. The butt end of the axe blade is straight. Two conical perforations are placed asymmetrically, off center, at the butt end of the axe blade. (Surface dirt in general; bottom cutting edge nicked in one place.)

Maker(s)
Artist: Longshan culture 龍山 (ca. 3000 - ca. 1700 BCE)
Historical period(s)
Late Neolithic period, ca. 3000-2000 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 34.9 x 17.6 x 0.6 cm (13 3/4 x 6 15/16 x 1/4 in)
Geography
Northwest China
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Accession Number
S1987.452
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceremonial Object, Jade
Type

Ceremonial object

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

To 1959
Abel William Bahr (1877-1959), Shanghai, China, London, England, Montreal, Canada, New York, NY, and Ridgefield, Connecticut [1]

From 1963 to 1987
Arthur M. Sackler, New York, purchased from the Bahr Collection in 1963 [2]

From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler on September 11, 1987 [3]

Notes:

[1] According to information provided by the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, October 9, 2009.

[2] See #19: "Blue-green with tan markings. Ax-shaped-two pierced holes near back edge. Nick in outting edge," on list provided by the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, October 9, 2009, copy in object file.

[3] 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)

Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987
Abel William Bahr 1877-1959

Description

The rectangular axe blade of mottled jade is slightly splayed toward the blunt, not quite symmetrically curved edge. The butt end of the axe blade is straight. Two conical perforations are placed asymmetrically, off center, at the butt end of the axe blade. (Surface dirt in general; bottom cutting edge nicked in one place.)

Published References
  • David Summers. Real Spaces: World Art History and the Rise of Western Modernism. New York, 2003. p. 89, fig. 22.
  • 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. 218-219.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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