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An image of Gui ceremonial blade by
Alternate image of Gui ceremonial blade by


Gui ceremonial blade
Other titles:
Ceremonial blade
Place of origin
Shang dynasty circa 1600 - 1100 BCE → China
Media category
Ceremonial object
Materials used

52.1 x 9.5 x 0.3 cm; 56.5 x 10.0 x 1.0 cm mounted on mount; 56.5 x 12.5 x 13.9 cm object with stand

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of Dr J.L. Shellshear 1954
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

In shape, this ceremonial or funerary jade is reminiscent of a Neolithic stone harvesting knife, even down to the perforations along the unsharpened edge. On the original these would have served to attach a backing or grip for the hand. To make the blade, its outline would first have been drawn on a flat slab sawn from the block. Jade is so hard it cannot b cut with metals; the Chinese used an abrasive sand with a greater degree of hardness. During the Shang period such replicas of tools were used as ceremonial emblems.

‘The Asian Collections: Art Gallery of New South Wales’. pg.73
© 2003 Trustees, Art Gallery of New South Wales

Bibliography (2)

Jackie Menzies, Early Chinese Art, Sydney, 1983, (illus.) not paginated. V See 'Further Information' for text.

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Bronzes and Jades', Sydney, 2003, 73 (colour illus.).

Exhibition history (1)

Early Chinese art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 26 Feb 1983–08 May 1983