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A MOTTLED JADE BLADE
AFTERNOON SESSION AT 2:00 PM PRECISELY (LOTS 214-382) EARLY JADES, BRONZES AND SILVER THE PROPERTY OF A LADY
A MOTTLED JADE BLADE

EARLY SHANG DYNASTY, CIRCA 1600-1100 BC

Details
A MOTTLED JADE BLADE
Early Shang dynasty, circa 1600-1100 BC
Of soft pale grey-green color with attractive blackish-brown mottling throughout, the thick blade tapering towards the broader, diagonal end where shallow V-shaped depressions are carved on either side pointing inwards from the edge, and tapering also towards the lower, slightly beveled and curved cutting edge, pierced with two holes, the hole near the upper edge drilled from one side, the other hole drilled from both sides, the stone now opaque and with soft, satin-like polish
12½in. (31.8cm.) long
Provenance
Collection of A.W. Bahr.
Christie's, New York, 1 December 1994, lot 88, The Arthur M. Sackler Collections.
Literature
S.C. Nott, Chinese Jade Throughout the Ages, New York, 1937, pl. XIV:A.

Lot Essay

Frequently late Neolithic and early historic (Xia/Erlitou) jades are reworked in Shang or Western Zhou eras from one shape to another, in particular from dao-blade to gui-blade and sometimes vice versa. The reworking of this blade is identified by the different location of the perforated holes, both of which are drilled from one side only. This reworking suggests a date to a post-Erlitou and early Shang context. Comparable blades of similar stone have been published; one in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Richard C. Bull, included in the exhibition, Arts of the Chou Dynasty, Stanford University Museum, February 21-March 28 1958, no. 18. Another in the collection of Mrs. Rafi Y. Mottahedeh, was included in the O.C.S. exhibition, Chinese Jade throughout the ages, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1 May-22 June 1975, no. 27.
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