1. Bought from Lee Van Ching [Li Wenqing] 李文卿, of Shanghai 上海. For price, see Original Miscellaneous List, p. 250. $100.
2. (Undated Folder Sheet note) Original attribution: Chinese. Before San Tai [Sandai] 三代.
3. (Undated Folder Sheet note) Sp. G. is 2.966. Nephrite.
4. (Isabel Ingram Mayer, 1945) Chou [Zhou] 周 dynasty.
5. (H. Elise Buckman, 1964) The Envelope File contained no further information, and has now been destroyed.
6. (Thomas Lawton, 1978) Western Chou [Zhou] 周.
7. (Julia K. Murray, September 1980) Exhibition Ancient Chinese Jade label text; moved to label field.
8. (Julia K. Murray, 1982) Chisel shaped jades, which are included in the general category of tablets called kuei [gui] 圭, first occur in Neolithic sites (see for example the chisel found at Ta ch'eng shan [Dachengshan] 大城山, T'ang shan [Tangshan] 唐山 in Hopei [Hebei] 河北 province; reproduced in Ho-pei sheng po-wu-kuan [Hebei sheng bowuguan] 河北省博物館, Ho pei sheng ch'u t'u wen wu hsuan chi [Hebei sheng chutu wenwu xuanji] 河北省出土文物選集 (Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, 1980), monochrome pl. 6:15. In Neolithic times, jade chisels were far outnumbered by chisel shaped tools made of ordinary stone, which are frequently found in burials. During the Bronze Age, jade replicas of various types of Neolithic stone tools continued to be made and evidently had symbolical or ceremonial functions. However, their shapes tended to become less like those of the original prototype tools (chisels, axes, adzes, knives, hoes, etc.) and more like each other, giving rise to the collective term kuei [gui] 圭, to designate tablet like jades in general.
In the Freer collection, the following jades may be considered to derive from the chisel: F1935.7, F1917.31, F1915.87 (with relief masks), F1917.57, F1917.34 (with slightly recessed tang), and F1917.28 (archaistic). Another tablet whose shape is at least in part inspired by that of the chisel is the broad and long F1915.69.
Chisel F1917.31 is similar in shape and proportions to an example in the Fogg Art Museum published in Max Loehr, Ancient Chinese jades from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA: Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, 1975), cat. 197, as "Western Chou [Zhou] 周(?)."
9. (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.
10. (Jeffrey Smith per Keith Wilson, July 17, 2008) Ceremonial Objects added as secondary classification.
11. (Stephen Allee, March 23, 2009) Added designation "nephrite" to Medium as per Janet Douglas using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (January 8, 2009).
12. (Jeffrey Smith per Keith Wilson, March 2, 2016) Qija culture removed as Maker; object dates changed from ca. 2500-2000 BCE to dates of the Late Neolithic period, ca. 5000-ca. 1700 BCE