Miniature hafted dagger-axe (ge 戈)


Historical period(s)
Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1300-ca. 1050 BCE
Jade (nephrite)
H x W x D (overall): 4.7 x 2.1 x 0.4 cm (1 7/8 x 13/16 x 3/16 in)
China, Henan province, purportedly unearthed at Anyang
purportedly unearthed at Anyang
Credit Line
The Dr. Paul Singer Collection of Chinese Art of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; a joint gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, Paul Singer, the AMS Foundation for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, and the Children of Arthur M. Sackler
Paul Singer collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceremonial Object, Jade


Anyang period (ca. 1300 - ca. 1050 BCE), carving, China, dagger-axe, nephrite, Paul Singer collection, Shang dynasty (ca. 1600 - ca. 1050 BCE)

From at least 1934 to 1952
David David-Weill (1871-1952), Paris, from at least 1934 [1]

From 1952 to 1971
Flora Raphaël David-Weill (1878-1971), by descent from her husband, David David-Weill in 1952

Sale, Sotheby's, London, The D. David Weill Collection: Early Chinese Bronzes: Inlaid Metalwork, Gilt Bronzes and Silver, Jades, Sculpture and Ceramics, February 29, 1972, lot 24 (ill.)

From 1972 to 1997
Paul Singer (1904-1997), Summit, New Jersey, purchased at Sotheby’s Sale on February 29, 1972 [2]

From 1997
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, bequeathed by Paul Singer [3]


[1] David David-Weill was a banker and financier, head of the international investment house Lazard Frères et Cie. He was an important figure in the art world and formed a large collection of eighteenth-century French paintings and sculpture and other works of art, including Asian art. The jade pendant was published as part of the David-Weill collection in 1934, see Olov Janse, “Le style du Houai et ses affinités, notes à propos de quelques objets de la collection Daid-Weill,” Revue des arts asiatiques vol. 8, no. 3 (1934), pl. 53: 4, p. 174-175. In 1937 David-Weill lent the jade to an exhibition organized by Georges Salles for Musée de L’Orangerie in Paris, see Arts de la Chinese ancienne (Paris, Musée de L’Orangerie, 1937), cat. 86.

[2] Paul Singer acquired the jade pendant at the auction of David David-Weill collection through a Sotheby’s Sales office representative, C. M. Payne. Singer described his participation in the sale in his memoirs, see “Reminiscences of a Transient Custodian,” ms., Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, p. 120-121. The collection of Chinese art and antiquities assembled by Paul Singer over time was purchased by him on behalf of Arthur M. Sackler, Jillian Sackler, The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, the AMS Foundation for the Arts, Sciences and Humanities and later was transferred to the children of Arthur M. Sackler.

[3] Upon Paul Singer’s death in January 1997, his collection was transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery by order of the Executors of the Estate under a loan agreement signed on February 1997. Shortly thereafter, the Sackler Gallery was vested with full ownership and title to the collection in full agreement by the Sackler Foundations and Sackler family members. The formal accession of the Singer collection was completed in 2012.

Previous Owner(s)

David David-Weill 1871 - 1952
Mrs. Flora Raphaël David-Weill 1878 - 1971
Dr. Paul Singer 1904-1997

Published References
  • Max Loehr. Chinese Bronze Age Weapons: The Werner Jannings Collection in the Chinese National Palace Museum, Peking. Ann Arbor. p. 49, fig. 43.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum