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Gui ceremonial blade


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Other Title
    Ceremonial blade
    Place where the work was made
    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
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    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

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

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

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications