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Catalog Data

Jade (nephrite)
H x W x D: 9.7 x 31.1 x 0.8 cm (3 13/16 x 12 1/4 x 5/16 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
This jade ge blade is beveled along the upper and lower edges. The tip of the blade is not beveled but has sloping faces. A prominent median ridge runs from the tip of the blade, through the central perforation, to the tang. One corner of the butt end of the tang is decorated with two receding steps. (Mostly calcified; few nicks, mostly old; brown surface substance; ridge depressed one side—flaw?)
To 1959
Diedrich Abbes (1866-1959), Greenwich, CT [1]
1959 to 1987
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler, New York, purchased from the estate of Diedrich Abbes on July 10, 1959 through Frank Caro, C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York [2]
From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Dr. Arthur M. Sackler in 1987 [3]
[1] See note on Arthur M. Sackler, M.D. letterhead acknowledging the "purchase and receipt of 17 pieces of stone carvings of the Shang, Yin-Chou and Chou periods from the Dietrich Abbes collection. The price in full, exclusive of commission, will be paid as indicated by this note in two installments," copy in object file.
[2] See note 1. For Frank Caro's involvement, see: letter to Frank Caro from Arnold J. Bai of the law firm Goldstein and Peck, Bridgeport Connecticut, September 28, 1960, copy in object file. The letter asks Frank Caro to have (presumably) his client, Arthur M. Sackler, to send the final payment for the Diedrich Abbes Collection of jades to the law firm. Goldstein and Peck mistakenly identify Mr. Caro's business as C. T. Loo Company, when it was called C. T. Loo Chinese Art.
[3] Pursuant to the agreement between Dr. 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.
Arthur M. Sackler Collection
Exhibition History:
5000 Years of Chinese Jade (October 1, 2011 to February 19, 2012)
America's Smithsonian (February 9 to August 26, 1997)
In Praise of Ancestors: Ritual Objects from China (September 28, 1987 to January 1, 1989)
Previous custodian or owner:
Diedrich Abbes (1866-1959)
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987)
China  Search this
Chinese Art  Search this
Erligang period, Early Shang dynasty (ca. 1600 - ca. 1400 BCE)  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Accession Number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
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