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    Sale 2268

    Fine Chinese Art from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections

    18 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 287

    A VERY RARE AND UNUSUALLY LONG OPAQUE JADE GE-HALBERD BLADE

    SHANG/EARLY WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY, CIRCA 1400-1100 BC

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A VERY RARE AND UNUSUALLY LONG OPAQUE JADE GE-HALBERD BLADE
    SHANG/EARLY WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY, CIRCA 1400-1100 BC
    The long blade with median ridge on both sides and beveled edges extending to where the asymmetrical point with slightly downward curved upper edge begins to taper to the tip, with a hole drilled from both sides below the narrower tang which has a beveled diagonal cut across one corner, the other corner cut with a small notch, the opaque stone of ivory color with brownish accretions
    21 7/8 in. (55.5 cm.) long, box


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    Very long ge-halberd blades were made during the Shang dynasty, and their length points to a ceremonial rather than a practical use. Three long blades of a type similar to the present blade, all excavated at Lijiazui, Huangpi, Hubei province, and dated to early Shang dynasty, are illustrated in The Complete Collection of Jades Unearthd in China - 10 - Hubei, Hunan, Beijing, 2005, p. 41 (61.6 cm.), p. 42 (70 cm.) and p. 44 (94 cm.). Another unusually long blade (63.5 cm.) in the Musée Guimet, Paris, is illustrated in the Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Chinese Art, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1935-6, no. 315. See, also, a ge-halberd blade of comparable length (57 cm.) to the present example, unearthed in the 1950s at Baijiazhuang, Zhengzhou, Henan province, and dated early Shang illustrated by Yeung Kin-Fong, Zhongguo Chutu Guyu (Jade Carving in Chinese Archaeology), vol. 1, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1987, pl. XXXI (5).
    Another long ge-halberd blade, dated to the early Western Zhou dynasty, in the Freer Gallery of Art, which once belonged to the late Qing dynasty official and connoisseur Duanfang, is illustrated by T. Lawton and L. Merrill, Freer: A Legacy of Art, Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 1993, p. 206, fig. 141 (top). It bears an inscription engraved on the butt end "that refers to military activity at the beginning of the Zhou dynasty."

    Provenance

    C.T. Loo & Co., New York.
    The Estate of C.T. Loo; Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 10-11 October 1962, lot 243.
    J.T. Tai & Co., New York, 1965.


    Exhibited

    An Exhibition of Chinese Archaic Jades, C.T. Loo & Co. at Norton Gallery of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida, 20 January - 1 March 1950, pl. IV (4).