Axe (fu 斧)

Historical period(s)
Late Neolithic period, ca. 2000 BCE
Calcite (marble)
H x W x D: 27.6 x 5.7 x 2.4 cm (10 7/8 x 2 1/4 x 15/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
Arthur M. Sackler Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceremonial Object, Jade

Ceremonial object: axe

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

Dr. Paul Singer (1904-1997) [1]

Denise Sackler [2]

The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, gift of Denise Sackler in 1978 [3]

From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation


[1] The dealer number is listed as S1. This is a Paul Singer number, copy in object file.

[2] See letter from Denise Sackler to the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation from December 21, 1978, copy in object file.

[3] See note 2.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Dr. Paul Singer 1904-1997
Denise Marika born 1955
Arthur M. Sackler Foundation founded 1965


The cultural context and date of undecorated jades like these, which come from Neolithic workshops in different parts of China, are often determined from their shapes, materials, and basic manufacturing techniques, such as cutting, drilling, and polishing.  Large ceremonial axes, sliced precariously thin and polished to a high gloss, are typical products of the Longshan culture of eastern China;  the enigmatic, asymmetrical tube is characteristic of the finds from the Hongshan culture in the north and northeast.

Published References
  • J. Keith Wilson, Jingmin Zhang. Jades for Life and Death. .
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
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