Warring States period to early Western Han dynasty, 3rd/2nd century B.C.
About this artwork
Artists of China’s late Bronze Age achieved both technical mastery and visual sophistication in elegant objects like this jade sheath, designed to fit a small blade. Its fluid contours and subtle surface modeling are remarkable because they were achieved by slowly grinding down, drilling, and polishing the stone.
Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.
Through prior gifts of Mrs. Chauncey B. Borland, Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection, Emily Crane Chadbourne, Mary Hooker Dole, Edith B. Farnsworth, Mrs. Mary A. B. MacKenzie, Mr. and Mrs. Chauncey B. McCormick, Fowler McCormick, Mrs. Gordon Palmer, Grace Brown Palmer, Chester D. Tripp, Russell Tyson, H. R. Warner, Joseph Winterbotham, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Ziff
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Jessica Rawson and John Ayers, Chinese Jade Throughout the Ages (London: Oriental Ceramic Society), cat. 135
Shikago Bijutsukan, Chugoku bijutsu meihen ten: Masterpieces of Chinese Arts from Art Institute of Chicago (Osaka: Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Bijutsukan, Atami: MOA Bijutsukan, Tokyo: Idemitsu Bijutsukan, 1989), cat. 37, p. 136, p. 45 (ill.).
Jessica Rawson, Western Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections (Washington, D.C. and Cambridge, MA, 1990), 2B, p. 602, fig. 93.10.
Elinor L. Pearlstein, “A Jade Sheath of Early Imperial China,” The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, 16, 2 (1990), pp. 102-119, 173-76.
Elinor L. Pearlstein and James T. Ulak, Asian Art in the Art Institute of Chicago (The Art Institute of Chicago, 1993), p.147, p. 26 (ill.)
The Art Institute of Chicago: The Essential Guide (rev. ed). The Art Institute of Chicago, 2003, p. 67 (ill.).
London, Arts Council of Great Britain and The Oriental Ceramic Society (co-organizers), Chinese Jade Throughout the Ages, exhibited at Victoria and Albert Museum, May 1-June 22, 1975, cat by Jessica Rawson and John Ayers, cat. 135 (lent anonymously)
Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka Shikago Bijutsukan, Chugoku bijutsu meihinten: Masterpieces of Chinese Arts from the Art Institute of Chicago, Feb. 11-March 21, 1989; traveled to MOA Museum of Art, Tokyo, April 1-May 7, 1989, Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo, May 16-June 19, 1989, cat. 37, p. 136, p. 45 (ill.).
Purchased from Bluett & Son, London
Ex collection: Private collection (unknown), London
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