List of illustrations

  • Silver, gold, and bronze medals, with jade insets, from the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing
  • Jadeite incense burner
  • Jade gatherers along the riverbed of Yurungkash (White Jade River) in modern Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region
  • Nephrite brush holder
  • Sandstone drill bit, Hanshan Lingjiatan M23, Anhui province
  • Jade workers at their stations in a modern workshop in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, June 2017
  • Micrograph showing one nephrite crystal, at 14,000× magnification
  • Micrograph showing interfelted crystal bundles.
  • Multiple lines from abrasion create the curved details on 1943.50.135
  • Jade disk showing unfinished design at the edge, Yangzhou Hanjiang, Jiangsu province
  • Hexagonal grid and mounds showing pattern of overlapping lines on a bi-disk
  • Hexagonal grid and mounds with profile showing the topography of a bi-disk
  • Hexagonal grid with inscribed curl on a bi-disk
  • Profile of mounds and incised curls on a bi-disk
  • Side view of curls on a bi-disk
  • Top view of curls on a bi-disk
  • Pattern of curls on huang segment
  • Side view of curls on huang segment
  • Remnants of hexagonal grid lines on an ornate disk
  • Remnants of hexagonal grid lines on a bi-disk
  • Color-enhanced image showing the square grid on a glass bi-disk
  • Drawing illustrating S-twist on fluted ring
  • Drawing illustrating Z-twist on fluted ring
  • Ring with S-twist at top of lid on container
  • Outer ring with Z-twist on mirror
  • Feathery alteration on a bi-disk: white band on green jade
  • Feathery alteration on a bi-disk: detail of crystals in white band
  • Textile imprint on a blade, detail
  • Textile pseudomorph on a bronze dagger axe
  • Brown iron-staining along microfractures on a disk
  • Green copper staining on a bi-disk
  • X-radiographs of a composite jade hook showing corroded iron core and interior void.
  • X-radiographs of a composite jade hook showing corroded iron core and interior void.
  • X-radiograph of a broken composite jade belt hook showing different mechanisms joining segments within each section
  • X-radiograph of a broken composite jade belt hook showing different mechanisms joining segments within each section
  • Gold over jade inset on belt hook
  • Textile pseudomorph and mineralized wood over jade on underside of belt hook
  • Detail of textile pseudomorph over jade on underside of belt hook
  • Original edges of gold adjacent to jade on belt hook (1943.52.61)
  • Cut edges of gold adjacent to jade on belt hook (1943.52.61)
  • Diagram showing original versus cut edges of gold adjacent to jade on belt hook (1943.52.61)
  • Back of belt hook (1943.52.61) in normal light
  • Back of belt hook (1943.52.61) in ultraviolet light showing fills and accretions
  • Belt hook (1943.52.60) with three oval jades in gold
  • Belt hook (1943.52.60); middle jade surrounded by modern fill
  • Gold belt hook with silver cowrie-shell insets
  • X-radiograph of mirror showing cast-in decoration and repaired cracks in bronze below the glass and jade
  • Ultraviolet light image of mirror showing the orange fluorescence indicating adhesive at the joins between different components on the decorated back
  • Synthetic green pigment applied over the join between the outer jade ring and the bronze mirror to imitate corrosion on the mirror
  • Junction of outer jade ring and glass ring showing the sharp boundary where the inner side of the jade ring was cut and ground flat to fit against the blue glass ring
  • Back-scattered electron image of cat. 49 showing corrosion and pitting of lead-barium glass in the outer glass ring; the white areas have higher lead content than the gray areas.
  • X-radiograph of a horse head showing the deep mounting hole and fills
  • X-radiograph of a horse head showing the deep mounting hole and fills
  • X-radiograph of a horse head showing the deep mounting hole, fills, and modern screw
  • X-radiograph of a horse head showing the deep mounting hole, fills, and modern screw
  • Images of horse head with visible light
  • Image of horse head with ultraviolet light showing fluorescence of organic materials applied to the surface
  • Baked-mud pregnant female figure, Kazuo Dongshanzui, Liaoning province
  • Drawing of stone mounds at Site II, Jianping Niuheliang, Liaoning province
  • Stone-cist burial showing seven jades in situ, Site V, M1, Jianping Niuheliang, Liaoning province
  • Jade tortoise shell from Site II, Sector 1, M21, Jianping Niuheliang, Liaoning province
  • Burial with jade and stone artifacts in situ
  • Jade disk with multidirectional curved slice marks
  • Jade bracelet with mask image
  • View of graves on top of Yaoshan, 1987
  • Jade cong
  • Jade cong, detail of man-animal motif
  • Drawing showing jade cong in situ, Wujin Sidun M3, Jiangsu province
  • Fragment of a jade knife
  • Drawing of jade blades in sacrificial pit
  • Multiple jade bracelets in situ on arm of a buried individual
  • Drawing of a jade blade fragment showing kneeling figure with forked blade
  • Curved cuff-like ornament with grooved design
  • Jade headdress ornament (?)
  • Low cylindrical bracelet with eight animal-mask motifs
  • Jade bracelet, reportedly from Henan province, Neolithic Liangzhu culture.
  • Low cylindrical jade bracelet with concave wall, southeast Neolithic
  • Squared cylinder (cong) with human-face motifs on 5.5 registers, Yangzi delta–Lake Tai region, Liangzhu context
  • Detail of half-register at top: Squared cylinder (cong) with human-face motifs on 5.5 registers, Yangzi delta–Lake Tai region, Liangzhu context
  • Squared cylinder (cong) with human-face motifs on 5.5 registers, detail
  • Jade bi-disk, southeast Neolithic
  • Jade axe-blade, southeast Neolithic
  • Jade ornamental combtop
  • Slice of a jade congcylinder
  • Staff finial (?)
  • Stone staff finial (damaged)
  • Cicada ornament
  • Curved tiger ornament
  • Jade columnar eagleshaped finial or hair ornament, Shijiahe communities, middle Yangzi valley
  • Jade “demonic” face ornament, Shijiahe communities, middle Yangzi valley
  • Disk with ancient repair
  • Trapezoidal knife with three holes
  • Trapezoidal knife with three holes
  • Photograph and drawing of repaired jade disk, Minhe Lajia, Qinghai province
  • Jade knife-blade, damaged
  • Forked blade (zhang)
  • Forked blade (zhang)
  • Tapering tablet (gui)
  • Jade tablet with human image
  • Arm or wrist ornament with notched and serrated profiles
  • Arm or wrist ornament with notched and serrated profiles
  • Jade arm or wrist ornament constructed from three arc-segments
  • Jade notched arm ornament
  • Map showing Erlitou palace compound (Area V) with locations of bronze-casting and turquoise workshops (Area IV)
  • Soapstone bird-man figure with three-link chain
  • Rubbing of variscite human head plaque
  • Faceted jade/stone disk-axe
  • Jade tablet showing horizontal discolored line at base
  • Crested bird
  • Funerary shroud with turquoise dragon, Erlitou palace compound (VM3)
  • Cylindrical bracelet
  • Wrist or arm ornament with wide flange
  • Jade Collared Disk
  • Fish pendant, Yellow River basin
  • Drawing of three-step process in shaping a flanged bracelet
  • Disk-axe
  • Rectangular axe-blade with serrated edges, Yellow River basin
  • Ge-halberd blade with straight notched shoulder
  • Attenuated ge-halberd blade with extended tang
  • Ge-halberd blade with turquoise-inlaid bronze tang
  • Ge-blade with crenulated tang, Yellow River basin
  • Small ge-blade with serrated shoulder, Yellow River basin
  • Ge-blade with deeply notched shoulder, upper Yangzi valley
  • Ge-halberd blade with geometric design and inscription
  • Ancestor or spirit tablet (?)
  • Ancestor or spirit tablet (?)
  • Ancestor or spirit tablet (?)
  • Curved tablet or finial
  • Curved bird-shaped finial, Late Shang period
  • Drawing of jade tablet with turquoise-embellished casing, Baoji Rujiazhung M1, Shaanxi province
  • Flared tubular bead
  • Flared tubular bead with mask motifs
  • Curved engraving tool (?) shaped after a dragon with bottle-horn
  • Large buffalo-head fitting
  • Scoop
  • Pigment container with buffalo-head handle
  • Bronze buffalo-shaped pigment container
  • Matching set of jade cong-bi from sacrificial pit, Fufeng, Shaanxi province
  • Drawing of jade human figure, Jianping Niuheliang M16, Liaoning province
  • Rubbing of jade human figure, Hanshan Lingjiatan M29, Anhui province
  • Jade standing horse, Tianma-Qucun M63, Shanxi province
  • Jade, agate, and faience multi-arc chain, trapezoidal plaque with beaded strings, and ge-blade in situ, Tianma-Qucun M31
  • Drawing of jade and agate short collar in situ, Sanmenxia M2012, Henan province
  • Undecorated cong-squared cylinder
  • Standing figure with hands meeting at the abdomen (finial)
  • Standing figure with hands meeting at the abdomen (finial)
  • Standing figure in long robe and high headdress
  • Rubbing of a jade figural finial, Anyang M5, Henan province
  • Slender jade figural finial
  • Seated bald figure
  • Seated bear (amulet?)
  • Seated bear (amulet?)
  • Tortoise (amulet?)
  • Hare (amulet?)
  • Recumbent bear
  • Buffalo
  • Wild hare
  • Pendant ornament: bird with thick tail
  • Pendant ornament: arched fish
  • Pendant ornament: silkworm with leg
  • Bird ornament with three-pronged crest
  • Bird ornament with extended tail
  • Arc-shaped fish ornament
  • Neck ornament with jade fish and silkworm pendants, Yicheng Dahekou M2, Shanxi province
  • Beaker with bird-shaped handles
  • Earthenware beaker with large bird-shaped handles
  • Bronze beaker with large openwork handles, Chang’an Zhangjiapo
  • Wooden beaker with large curvilinear handles in situ, Yicheng Dahekou, Shanxi province
  • Turquoise-inlaid ivory beaker with bird-shaped handle, Anyang M5, Henan province
  • Component for pendant assemblage: arc pendant
  • Component for pendant assemblage: two arc-pendant
  • Components for pendant assemblages: two bundled sheaf-shaped spacer plaques
  • Component for pendant assemblages: trapezoidal spacer plaque
  • Component for pendant assemblages: necklace closure plaque
  • Six-arc chain strung with jade, carnelian, and faience, Tianma-Qucun M31, Shanxi province
  • Mask-shaped closure plaque
  • Dragon-bird closure plaque
  • Rubbing of jade tiger pendant, Xichuan Xiasi M1, Henan province
  • Drawing of lacquered wooden figure with painted pendants, Xinyang Changtaiguan M2, Henan province
  • Rubbing of jade pendant assemblage, Nanyue Wang burial, Guangzhou, Guangdong province
  • Jade dagger with fitted gold sheath, Hancheng Liangdaicun M27, Shaanxi province
  • Four sets of jade fittings for iron swords, Nanyue Wang burial, Guangzhou, Guangdong province
  • Broken jade dragon pendant repurposed with gold hook, Nanyue Wang burial, Guangzhou, Guangdong province
  • Rubbing of an unfinished jade ring with large dragon head motifs
  • Drawing of linked chain ornament, Zeng Hou Yi burial, Suizhou Leigudun, Hubei province
  • Mechanical join on chain, detail
  • Small bronze and stone fish and bell pendant weights for funerary parasol in situ, Hancheng Liangdaicun M28, Shaanxi province
  • Rubbing of funerary face cover with jade components, Sanmenxia M2001, Henan province
  • Wide arc with raised comma motifs
  • U-shaped arc with dragon heads
  • Narrow semicircular arc with dragon heads
  • Rectangular plaque with dragon head and bird tail
  • Loose S-shaped plaque with dragon head and bird tail
  • Strongly curved plaque with dragon head and small bird head at tail
  • Squarish plaque with dragon head and curled extensions
  • Drawing of a reconstructed pendant set from Qufu M58, Shandong province
  • A pair of S-shaped dragon plaques with dense curled extensions
  • Triangular feline plaque
  • Triangular feline plaque
  • A pair of large feline plaques
  • Drawing of dragon plaques in situ, Luoyang Xigong District (C1M3943)
  • Slender fish-like pendant
  • Vertical long-tailed feline pendant
  • Arc-shaped dragon-head pendant
  • Drawing of pendant configuration from an imperial consort’s tomb in Xi’an, Shaanxi province
  • Narrow ring with molded mask and overlapping patterns
  • Disk with two concentric zones of plain and plastic curls
  • Disk with concentric zones of plastic curls and openwork dragon motifs
  • Disk with fine curls in grid arrangement
  • Tapering rectangular bead with dragon heads
  • Two narrow rectangular beads with relief dragon heads
  • Barrel-shaped bead with raised curls
  • Kneeling figure in the round
  • Acrobats
  • Standing lady with “bow” at neck
  • Bird with snakes in beak and claws
  • Heraldic bird with object in beak
  • Drawing of half of miniature lacquered wooden screen, Jiangling Wangshan (M2)
  • Bird-shaped pendant component, purportedly from Luoyang Jincun
  • Bird-shaped pendant component with leaf-shaped appendage
  • Jar-shaped pendant component
  • Two small linked disks with openwork corner ornaments
  • Linked feline and bird ornament
  • Oval plaque
  • Openwork plaque with flat serpentine head
  • Narrow ring with spiral fluting
  • Belt hook
  • Belt hook
  • Archer’s thumb ring with raised commas
  • Archer’s thumb ring
  • Archer’s thumb ring, reportedly from Luoyang Jincun
  • Archer’s thumb ring with bird-shaped hook
  • Archer’s thumb ring pendant
  • Drawing of jade archer’s thumb ring pendant from Jianzhong village, Nanjing
  • Sword guard
  • Scabbard slide
  • Pair of straight fish pendants
  • Group of 4 triangular bird pendants
  • Group of 9 rectangular plaques
  • Jade rhyton drinking cup, Nanyue Wang burial, Guangzhou, Guangdong province
  • Rubbing of upright jade dragon plaque, Xuzhou Shizishan, Jiangsu province
  • Drawing of tomb contents showing bi-disk at head, Jiangling Wangshan M2, Hubei province
  • Drawing of tomb contents showing distribution of bi-disks, Linzi Shangwangcun M1, Shandong province
  • Jade cup and bronze basin, Nanyue Wang burial, Guangzhou
  • Group of five jade sculptures, Xianyang Weiling, Shaanxi province
  • Large disk with inscription around edge
  • Large disk with inscription around edge
  • Detail of part of rubbing of inscription around edge of large disk
  • Wooden back panel of cat. 38B showing gold-filled inscription
  • Large disk
  • Large disk
  • Large disk
  • Jade disk with crisscross ties, Dingtao, Shandong province
  • Cicada
  • Cicada
  • Two oval earcups with incised geometric designs and openwork crescent-shaped handles
  • Two oval earcups with incised geometric designs and openwork crescent-shaped handles (undersides)
  • Oval earcup with crescent-shaped handles
  • Earcup
  • Covered container with gilt-bronze mounts
  • Horse head
  • Horse head
  • Jade horse head with insertion tab, Tomb of Duke Jing of Qin, Fengxiang, Shaanxi province
  • Jade standing horse, Qufu M3, Shandong province
  • Jade dragon-head fitting with view of underside, Xi’an, Shaanxi province
  • Disk with animals of the four directions
  • Sliced and broken jade S-dragon plaques, Xuzhou Shizishan, Jiangsu province
  • Nested rock crystal and jade coffin-shaped containers for sarira (crystal lid open), Famen Temple, Fufeng, Shaanxi province
  • Archaistic jade gui-tablet with raised knobs, Liangzhuang Wang burial, Zhongxiang, Hubei province
  • Jade floral hair-knot ornament
  • Jade mountain depicting “Yu taming the floods,”
  • Archaistic vessel in shape of bronze gong
  • Gui-tablet with the Twelve Auspicious Symbols and inscription
  • Hair-knot ornament with archaistic motifs and pin
  • The Transformation of Laojun (detail)
  • Disk with dragons in high relief and raised dots in grid
  • Disk with dragons in high relief and raised dots in grid
  • Scabbard slide with dragons in high openwork relief
  • Scabbard slide
  • Cylindrical cup with ring handle and three short feet (zhi)
  • Mirror
  • Fragmentary bronze mirror with blue glass-bead inlays, Luoyang (C1M3943), Henan province
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Description: Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums
Contents
PublisherHarvard Art Museums
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Description: Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums
Foreword
PublisherHarvard Art Museums
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Description: Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums
The idea for a history of early Chinese jades came to me when I began to delve into the exceptional and complementary collections of the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, soon after I arrived there as a curator in 1990. Thomas Lentz, then the galleries’ deputy director, supported the project from the...
PublisherHarvard Art Museums
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Description: Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums
All Winthrop objects under consideration here are held in the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard Art Museums; in an effort to save space, this information has been omitted from captions and tombstones, although the objects’ unique accession numbers have been included. Unless otherwise noted, it can safely be assumed that the object under discussion is from...
PublisherHarvard Art Museums
Description: Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums
Jade production began in China over seven millennia ago (C. 5000 BCE), yielding by far the largest body of intricately crafted jade artifacts created by any single civilization. While other jade-working cultures in India, New Zealand, and Central and North America have come and gone, China’s jade-working industry continues even today; few artistic traditions can...
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Description: Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums
How did the chemical and mineralogical qualities of jade affect the manufacturing techniques used to make ancient Chinese jade objects? How have these factors influenced the changes that they have endured over time? What evidence is now available to us about jade working and the history of...
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Description: Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums
Neolithic inhabitants of China were shaping small personal ornaments and tools in nephrite, agate, and other hard stones no later than the sixth and fifth millennia (6000–4000 BCE). By the fourth millennium (C. 4000–3000 BCE), nephrite production had emerged in the...
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Description: Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums
Toward the beginning of the second millennium BCE, a new material arrived for the production of ritual and associated objects that significantly changed the social, cultural, and technological landscape of ancient China. Metal was introduced, with its attendant range of working techniques, perhaps first as simply...
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Description: Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums
After what appears to have been a lull in Jade production along the lower Yellow River basin during the mid-second millennium BCE, jade working experienced a renewed vitality with the relocation of the Shang capital to Anyang around 1300 BCE. Regardless of the political implications of this move...
PublisherHarvard Art Museums

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Description: Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums
The ethnically non-Zhou groups who wore the elaborately strung regalia discussed in the previous chapter became a real threat when the Zhou court’s control of their...
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Description: Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums
​The third century BCE saw centuries of conflict and unrest coming to a head as the two largest contending polities—Qin in the west and Chu in the south—began closing in on the Zhou domain in Luoyang, and on each other. At the same time, competing schools of thought emerged, each proposing...
PublisherHarvard Art Museums

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Description: Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums
The foregoing chapters have described in broad strokes the history of China’s jade-working industry from Neolithic times to the early centuries CE. This chapter is intended to serve as both an epilogue to the history charted in these chapters and a brief introduction to the subsequent two millennia, a story perhaps better told through the later jades in the Ernest B. and...
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Description: Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums
Chronology
PublisherHarvard Art Museums
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Description: Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums
Chinese Glossary
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Description: Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums
Bibliography
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Description: Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums
Index
PublisherHarvard Art Museums
Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums
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