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Catalog Data

Jade (nephrite)
H x W x D: 19.8 x 20 x 0.8 cm (7 13/16 x 7 7/8 x 5/16 in)
Diam (opening): 6.2 cm (2 7/16 in)
Ceremonial Object
Anyang, probably Henan province, China
ca. 1250-ca. 1050 BCE
Late Shang dynasty, Anyang period
Flanged pierced pi [bi] 璧 disk with lateral serrations arranged on either side of the central orifice. Buff colored with some darker mottling. The lower edge is ground to a blunt cutting edge.
Duanfang (1861-1911) [1]
From at least 1969 to 1970
Eugene Meyer (1875-1959) and Agnes E. Meyer (1887-1970), Washington, DC, and Mt. Kisco, NY [2]
From 1970
Freer Gallery of Art, bequeathed by Agnes E. Meyer, 1970 [3]
[1] The jade is included in Duanfang’s catalogue of his jade collection, published posthumously in 1936 with a preface by Wang Dalong, see Duanfang, Taozhai gu yu tu, vol. 1 (Shanghai, 1936), p. 1:3a.
Duanfang was a late Qing government official and a well known collector of Chinese art. See also Thomas Lawton, A Time of Transition: Two Collectors of Chinese Art (Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, 1991), pp. 37-39, fig. 37.
An inscription on the box with which the jade was acquired reads: “Zhou, gu bi, Tao zhai zhen cang"; a reference to the Taozhai, Duanfang’s studio provides another indication that the jade was in Duanfang’s collection.
[2] The object is included in Agnes E. Meyer’s will and testament dated December 23, 1969, copy in object file.
[3] See Agnes E. Meyer’s will and testament cited in note 2.
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Exhibition History:
Anyang: China's Ancient City of Kings (February 25, 2023 to April 28, 2024)
Afterlife: Ancient Chinese Jades (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
Chinese Art (February 18, 1983 to April 1, 1987)
Chinese Art (March 15, 1982 to June 15, 1982)
Chinese Art (March 9, 1981 to March 12, 1982)
A Decade of Discovery: Selected Acquisitions 1970-1980 (November 9, 1979 to May 22, 1980)
Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Memorial Exhibition (September 25, 1971 to October 2, 1972)
Chinese Art (January 1, 1963 to March 6, 1981)
Previous custodian or owner:
Duanfang 端方 (1861-1911)
Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer ((1875-1959) and (1887-1970))
Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty (ca. 1300 - 1050 BCE)  Search this
China  Search this
Chinese Art  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer
Accession Number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
On View:
Sackler Gallery 23b: Anyang: China's Ancient City of Kings
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
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery