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A VERY RARE TURQUOISE-INLAID AND JADE INSET BRONZE GE-HALBERD BLADE
A VERY RARE TURQUOISE-INLAID AND JADE INSET BRONZE GE-HALBERD BLADE
A VERY RARE TURQUOISE-INLAID AND JADE INSET BRONZE GE-HALBERD BLADE
A VERY RARE TURQUOISE-INLAID AND JADE INSET BRONZE GE-HALBERD BLADE
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A VERY RARE TURQUOISE-INLAID AND JADE INSET BRONZE GE-HALBERD BLADE

LATE SHANG DYNASTY, ANYANG PHASE, C. 1300-1100 BC

Details
A VERY RARE TURQUOISE-INLAID AND JADE INSET BRONZE GE-HALBERD BLADE
LATE SHANG DYNASTY, ANYANG PHASE, C. 1300-1100 BC
The jade blade is now altered to an opaque dark buff and olive-brown colour with median ridge on both sides and slightly bevelled edges, connected to the slender hafting bar of the bronze handle. The plain tang is pierced with a hole below the hilt cast in the shape of a bird's head with large hooked beak, bifurcated crest and long curled feather on the back of the neck, all inlaid in turquoise tesserae.
12 3/8 in. (31.3 cm.) long, box
Provenance
C. T. Loo & Co., New York
Frank Caro, New York, 1964
Arthur M. Sackler Collection
Sold at Christie’s New York, 18 March 2009, lot 227
Exhibited
An Exhibition of Chinese Archaic Jades, C. T. Loo, Inc. at Norton Gallery of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida, 20 January - 1 March 1950, pl. II, no. 2 (fig. 1)
4000 Years of Chinese Art, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, November 1958, no. 20

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Lot Essay

Turquoise inlay on bronze was a difficult technique that had already appeared on ornaments during the late Erlitou Culture. The motif of bird seen on the hafting bar of the present blade was a particularly popular one on works of art from the Shang dynasty, as the Shang people believed they were descended from a black bird. Similar ge-halberd blades were excavated from late Shang dynasty tombs, such as an example from the tomb of Fu Hao, consort of King Wu Ding, found at Anyang, Henan province, illustrated in Yinxu Fuhao mui (The Jades from the tomb of Fu Hao at Yinxu), Beijing, 1980, col. pl. 17. Unlike the present example, the jade blade of the Fuhao ge fits into an additional bronze socket inlaid in turquoise with a taotie mask set below the hafting bar. The Fuhao ge is currently on display at the National Museum of China, Beijing (fig. 2).

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