The vertical flute is reputed to have been 'invented' by Ye Zhong of the Han Dynasty. Jade flutes are unusual, although references to them frequently occur in poetry, see Li Po's 'On hearing a flute on a summer night in Loyang'.
Tsang and Moss, in the exhibition Catalogue, Art from the Scholar's Studio, no. 2, illustrate a bamboo flute and quote the Ming dynasty commentator Tu Long (1542-1605), who mentions flutes made of jade, although preferring rustic bamboo flutes for their sound.
Lung Da Yuan of the Song Dynasty in Gu Yu Tu Bu (reproduced in Shuo Yu p. 1319) describes and illustrates a jade vertical flute stating that it is "played by one person alone". The present lot produces a cool, haunting tone when played.