Ornament (shi 飾) with mask and headdress

citation

The semi-human face has a pronounced bulbous nose in relief; almond-shaped eyes with incised outlines; fangs pointing both up and down; mouth revealing two rows of teeth; tall ornamented headdress; mottled green jade with white marbling; multiple holes at the bottom of the face. (Condition: Roughly carved around back of suspension holes and on left side of mask; slight nicks in edges; traces of calcification.)

Maker(s)
Artist: Shijiahe culture 石家河 (ca. 2500 - ca. 2000 BCE)
Historical period(s)
Late Neolithic period, ca. 2500 - 2000 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 6.8 x 3.8 x 1.3 cm (2 11/16 x 1 1/2 x 1/2 in)
Geography
China, Middle Yangzi valley, Hubei province
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Accession Number
S1987.880
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Jade, Jewelry and Ornament
Type

Ornament

Keywords
China, Late Neolithic period (ca. 5000 - ca. 1700 BCE), mask, 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 no. 548: "Human face with projections above," 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 semi-human face has a pronounced bulbous nose in relief; almond-shaped eyes with incised outlines; fangs pointing both up and down; mouth revealing two rows of teeth; tall ornamented headdress; mottled green jade with white marbling; multiple holes at the bottom of the face. (Condition: Roughly carved around back of suspension holes and on left side of mask; slight nicks in edges; traces of calcification.)

Published References
  • et al. Asian Art in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Inaugural Gift. Washington, 1987. cat. 39, p. 83.
  • Doris J. Dohrenwend. Jade Demonic Images from Early China. vol. 10 Washington and Ann Arbor, 1975. p. 70, fig. 35.
  • Alfred Salmony. Carved Jade of Ancient China. Berkeley, 1938. cat. 4, pl. 32.
  • New Frontiers in Global Archaeology (Quan qiu hua bei jing xia kao gu xue xin qian yan): Defining China's Ancient Traditions (jie du Zhongguo gu dai chuan tong). New York, 2008. p. 306.
  • Wu Hung. Yizu zaoqi de yushi diaoke (A Group of Early Jade and Stone Carvings)., 1979. p. 70, fig. 15.
  • Dr. Paul Singer. Chinese Art: A Thousand Masterpieces from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections. Washington, DC, 2000. p. 68, cat. 22.
  • Minao Hayashi. Chūgoku kogyoku no kenkyū. Tokyo, 1991. p. 319, fig. 4: 94.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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