© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

The Shang refined Neolithic jade-making practices, fashioning ritual blades and implements of even greater sophistication than those of their predecessors, incorporating jade blades into turquoise-inlaid bronze hafts, and expanding their jade repertoire into representational shapes of humans and animals.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Ceremonial Shafted Jade Axe with Fragmentary Blade
Riding Equipment
Work Type
16th-11th century BCE
Creation Place: East Asia, China
Shang dynasty, c. 1600-c. 1050 BCE
Level 1, Room 1740, Early Chinese Art, Arts of Ancient China from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age
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Physical Descriptions
Opaque bluish-green nephrite with fine black veins and light brown markings
L. 56.2 x W. 3.7 x Thickness 1 cm (22 1/8 x 1 7/16 x 3/8 in.)
Weight 546 g
[Yamanaka & Co., New York, March 12, 1918] sold; to Grenville L. Winthrop, New York (1918-1943), bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1943.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Publication History

Martha Davidson, "Chinese Jade: 3000 Years of Chinese Master Craftsmanship", ARTnews Annual (1938), vol. XXXVI, p. 121

Alfred Salmony, Carved Jade of Ancient China, Gillick Press (Berkeley, CA, 1938), pl. 7: 5

Sueji Umehara, ed., Shina kogyoku zuroku (Selected Specimens of Chinese Archaic Jade), Kuwana Bunseido (Kyoto, Japan, 1955 (Shôwa 30)), pl. 38

Na Chih-liang, Yu-ch'i t'ung-shih (General history of Chinese jade), Unidentified Publisher (Hong Kong and Taipei, 1963), pl. 77: 102

Dorothy W. Gillerman, Gridley McKim-Smith, and Joan R. Mertens, Grenville L. Winthrop: Retrospective for a Collector, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1969), no. 013, pp. 12-13, repr.

Max Loehr and Louisa G. Fitzgerald Huber, Ancient Chinese Jades from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1975), cat. no. 195, p. 154

Exhibition History

Re-View: S228-230 Arts of Asia, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 05/31/2008 - 11/23/2008

32Q: 1740 Early China I, Harvard Art Museums, 11/01/2014 - 01/01/9999

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu