Harvesting knife (hu 笏) with mask and felines, fragment

Artist: Longshan culture 龍山 (ca. 3000-ca. 1700 BCE)
Inscription: Box inscription by Chu Deyi 褚德彝 (1871-1942)
Historical period(s)
Late Neolithic period, ca. 2000-1700 BCE
Jade (nephrite)
H x W x D: 72 x 18.6 x 0.8 cm (28 3/8 x 7 5/16 x 5/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 19: Afterlife: Ancient Chinese Jades
Ceremonial Object, Jade

Ceremonial object: harvesting knife (hu)

China, Late Neolithic period (ca. 5000 - ca. 1700 BCE)

Duanfang (1861-1911), Peking [1]

To 1918
Seaouke Yue (You Xiaoxi), Shanghai, to 1918 [2]

1918 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Seaouke Yue in New York in 1918 [3]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [4]


[1] According to Curatorial Remark 2 in the object record.

[2] See Original Miscellaneous List, pg. 319, and Special Voucher No. 28, January 1918, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[3] See note 2.

[4] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Duanfang 1861-1911

Published References
  • J. Keith Wilson, Jingmin Zhang. Jades for Life and Death. .
  • Minao Hayashi. Chūgoku kodai no ishibōchōkei gyokki to kotsusenkei gyokki [Two Types of Prehistorical Chinese Ceremonial Jade Objects: Stone Harvesting Knives and Bone Spades]. no. 54, 1982. fig. 6.
  • Geoffrey WIlls. Jade of the East., 1st ed. New York, 1972. fig. 19-20.
  • Sueji Umehara. Shina kogyoku zuroku [Selected Specimens of Chinese Archaic Jade]. Kyoto, 1955. pl. 48.
  • Alfred Salmony. Carved Jade of Ancient China. Berkeley, 1938. Plate VII, no. 3, and Plate VIII, no. 1.
  • Minao Hayashi. In-kyo Fuhao-bo shutsudo no gyokki jakkan ni taisuru chushaku. no. 58 Tokyo, March 1986. p. 5.
  • Minao Hayashi. Sen In shiki no gyokki bunka [Patterns on Pre Yin Jades]. no. 334, 1979. p. 7, fig. 10.
  • Hai wai i chen [Chinese Art in Overseas Collections]. Taipei, 1985. p. 7.
  • Shuping Deng. Tianming xuanniao, jianger shengshang: guyu huawen suo fanying de gudai xinyang. no. 42 Taipei, 1986. p. 21, fig. 12.
  • William Willetts. Foundations of Chinese Art from Neolithic Pottery to Modern Architecture. New York, 1965. p. 49.
  • Doris J. Dohrenwend. Jade Demonic Images from Early China. vol. 10 Washington and Ann Arbor, 1975. pp. 55-78, fig. 32.
  • Wu Hung. Yizu zaoqi de yushi diaoke [A Group of Early Jade and Stone Carvings]., 1979. p. 69, fig. 3.
  • William Watson. Early Civilization in China. Library of the early civilizations London, 1966. p. 75.
  • Elizabeth Childs-Johnson, Fang Gu. Yuqi shidai: Meiguo bowuguan cang Zhongguo zaoqi yuqi [The Jade Age: Early Chinese Jades in American Museums]. Beijing, 2009. pp. 184-185.
  • Jessica Rawson. Chinese Jades from the Neolithic to the Qing. Exh. cat. London. p. 185, fig. 4.
  • Na Chih-liang. Yu ch'i tz'u t'ien [Dictionary of Chinese Jade]. Taipei, 1982. p. 196, fig. 1729.
  • Thomas Lawton, Linda Merrill. Freer: a legacy of art. Washington and New York, 1993. p. 206, fig. 141.
  • Minao Hayashi. Chūgoku kogyokuki sōsetsu. Tokyo, 1999. p. 237, fig. 5: 80.
  • Katherine Nash Rhoades. Recent Additions to the Freer Collection. vol. 8, no. 5 Washington, October 1919. p. 284.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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