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
Place where the work was made
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
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Early Chinese art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 26 Feb 1983–08 May 1983
Referenced in 2 publications
Jackie Menzies, Early Chinese Art, Sydney, 1983, (illus.) not paginated. cat.no. V See 'Further Information' for text.
The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Bronzes and Jades', Sydney, 2003, 73 (colour illus.).