Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Jade (nephrite)
H x W x D: 10.2 x 67.1 x 0.6 cm (4 x 26 7/16 x 1/4 in)
Erlitou culture, ca. 2000-1600 BCE  Search this
Ceremonial Object
probably Henan province, China
ca. 2000-ca. 1400 BCE
Erlitou culture or early Shang dynasty
Previous custodian or owner:
Wu Ching-t'ing 武敬亭
Duanfang 端方 (1861-1911)
Descendants of Duanfang (20th century)
You Xiaoxi 游篠溪 (late 19th-early 20th century) (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
Reportedly presented to the first Duke of Shao (Shao gong ?? ), Shih [Shi] ? [1]
Reportedly unearthed at Qishan ??, Fengxiang xian ???, Shaanxi ?? Province; said to be from the grave of the first Duke of Shao (Shao gong ?? ), Shi ?, the Taibao ?? [2]
Wu Ching-t'ing ??? (Wu Jingting) [3]
To 1911
Duanfang (1861-1911), Beijing, China [4]
1911 - 1918
Descendants of Duanfang, Beijing, China [5]
1918 - 1919
You Xiaoxi ??? (late 19th century - mid-20th century), Shanghai, China purchased from Duanfang's family in October 1918 [6]
1917 - 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Seaouke Yue in 1919 [7]
From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [8]
[1] See object's inscription and Pang Huaijing ???,
"Pa T'ai pao yu ke [Ba Taibao yuge] ?????," in K'ao-ku yu wen-wu [Kaogu yu wenwu] ????? 1986.1, pp. 70-73.
[2] See note 1.
[3] See note 1.
This jade was formerly in the collection of Duanfang ??
and was published in his posthumous T'ao chai ku-yu t'u [Taozhai guyu tu] ?????, vol. 1 (Shanghai: Laiqingge, 1936), pp. 84--85, where it is called a "jade sword ??.
See also, curatorial notes in accession file F1918.1.
[5] You Xiaoxi (Seaouke Yue) sold several objects that were part of Duanfang's collection from 1916-1919; he acquired these objects through the family of Duanfang. Seaouke Yue cites the Duanfang provenance in documentation from the American Consular Service, see:
"Special Certificate from American Consular Service," signed by Charles E. Kline, American Vice Counsul, May 20, 1919, copy in object file. This object is included in the inventory of box II as number 63. In this certificate, Yue states that he acquired from the Duanfang [Tuan Fang] collection in October of 1918.
[6] See note 4
and S.I. 1392, Original Miscellaneous List, pg. 323, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.
[7] See note 5. Upon purchased from Seaouke Yue, Freer had this object - and others purchased from Yue at the same time - immediately shipped to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. See: "Special Certificate from American Consular Service," cited in note 4.
[8] 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.
China  Search this
Chinese Art  Search this
Erligang period, Early Shang dynasty (ca. 1600 - ca. 1400 BCE)  Search this
nephrite  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Related Online Resources:
Google Cultural Institute
Jades for Life and Death
See more items in:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection
On View:
Freer Gallery 19: Afterlife: Ancient Chinese Jades
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery