1. Bought from Hwang Chung huei [Huang Zhonghui] 黃中慧, New York. For price, see Original Miscellaneous List, p. 158. $2025.
2. (Undated Folder Sheet note) Original attribution: Chinese. "Ancient." See further, S.I. 658, Appendix VII and Envelope File.
3. (John Ellerton Lodge, 1927) Early Han 漢 (?)
4. (Archibald Gibson Wenley, 1943) Chou [Zhou] 周 dynasty. Type kuei [gui] 圭. See F1939.54 for comparison of head carved in slight relief.
5. (Undated Folder Sheet note) Sp. G. is 2.965. Nephrite.
6. (H. Elise Buckman, 1964) The Envelope File, which has now been destroyed, contained the following (no signature): The Ancient Man Phoenix Scepter of Jade
According to Tso Chuan [Zuo Zhuan] 左傳, the famous commentary of Spring and Autumn Annals by Confucius, this scepter was an emblem used by Emperor Shao hau [Shaohao] 少昊 (2594--2511 BCE), son of Huang ti [Huangdi] 黃帝, for recording great national achievements; it being carried by dukes as the most valuable piece of ceremonial article during their audience with the Emperor.
In ancient and medieval ages of China, the readers may recall that the dragon was not infrequently taken as a sign of luck. However, to adopt the system of calling different ministers of affairs with names of various types of birds, Emperor Shao hau [Shaohao] 少昊 has the distinction of being the only man. Tso Ch'iu Ming [Zuo Qiuming] 左丘明, author of the famous commentary of Spring and Autumn Annals, mentioned that the Emperor named his prime minister, the minister of heaven or astronomy, phoenix merely for the reason that a phoenix arrived at the capital on his coronation day.
As to the peculiar and ancient feature of the image on this scepter, it also bore certain resemblance to those of many famous characters in Chinese history. For instance, its large eyes correspond to those of Fu-hsi [Fuxi] 伏羲 (2852--2738 BCE); its narrow chin, to that of Huang ti [Huangdi] 黃帝 (2704--2595 BCE); its spaced teeth to those of Ti k'u [Diku] 帝嚳 (2432--2363 BCE); and its tiger nose and large ears, to those to Ta yu [Dayu] 大禹 (2205--2198 BCE). From the above it may be concluded that this man's figure is possibly a picture of Emperor Shao hau [Shaohao] 少昊 himself.
7. (Julia K. Murray, 1980) From Ancient Chinese Jade exhibition label: Attribution is changed from Western Chou [Zhou] 周 to Shang 商, ca. 1523--1027 BCE.
8. (Julia K. Murray, 1982) For a general discussion of chisel shaped jades, see Folder Sheet F1917.31. The motifs carved in very low relief on each side of chisel F1915.87 distinguish it from others in the Freer collection. The demonic face on one side resembles those found on two other jades in the collection, amulet F1953.9 and plaque F1939.54. This face motif is discussed in the articles by Dohrenwend and Wu Hung 巫鴻 (see Doris J. Dohrenwend, "Jade Demonic Images from Early China," Ars Orientalis 10 , pp. 55--78, and Wu Hung 巫鴻, "I-tsu tsao-ch'i ti yu-shih tiao-k'e [Yizu zaoqi de yushi diaoke] 一組早期的玉石雕刻," Mei-shu yen-chiu [Meishu yanjiui] 美術研究 1979.1, pp. 64--70) and in Hayashi Minao 林巳奈夫, "Sen In shiki no gyokki bunka 先殷式の玉器文化 = Patterns on Pre Yin Jades," Museum 334 (1979), pp. 4--16. The standing bird on the other side of the chisel is similar to a motif that appears on a chisel in the Minneapolis Institute of Art (reproduced in a line drawing by Wu Hung 巫鴻, p. 70, fig. 26b; now in the Collection of Sir Joseph Hotung, see Jessica Rawson, Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing (London: British Museum Press, 1995), cat. 10:14.) and on another chisel in the National Palace Museum, Taiwan (http://theme.npm.edu.tw/selection/Article.aspx?sNo=04001020&lang=2, reproduced in line drawing by Hayashi, p. 7, fig. 9, right).
9. (Julia K. Murray, September 1983) Exhibition Studies in Connoisseurship 1923--1983 label text; moved to label field.
10. (Stephen Allee per Keith Wilson, March 31, 2008) On this date entered: Period One (Late Neolithic period), Date (ca. 2500--2000 BCE), Artist (Qijia 齊家 culture), Title, Object name, Geographical region (Northwest China); plus Dimensions per Christine Lee, from Jade Project Database.
11. (Stephen Allee, May 13, 2008) On this date, identification as "nephrite" entered as per Wen Guang 聞廣, June 1997, as determined by x ray diffraction and infrared spectroscopy.
12. (Jeffrey Smith per Keith Wilson, July 17, 2008) Ceremonial Objects added as secondary classification.
13. (Susan Kitsoulis per Keith Wilson, April 2, 2010 ) Object name changed from "Ceremonial implement" to "Ceremonial object"; changed from "Qijia 齊家" to "Longshan 龍山" culture; date from "ca. 2500--2000 BCE" to "ca. 2200--1900 BCE"; deleted "Northwest" from geographic location.
14. (Susan Kitsoulis per Keith Wilson, December 2, 2010) Title changed from "Straight chisel (gui 圭)" to "Ceremonial chisel (gui 圭) with face and bird."
15. (J. Smith per Keith Wilson, 7/1/2015) Title changed back to "Straight chisel (gui) with face and bird from "Ceremonial chisel (gui) with face and bird." Description updated.
16. (Jeffrey Smth per Keith Wilson, 3/2/2016) Object date changed from ca. 2200-1900 BCE to dates of Longshan culture, ca. 3000-ca.1700 BCE.