1.( Ancient Chinese Jade, September 4, 1980–March 6, 1981; by Julia K. Murray) (shown with F1935.7, F1917.34, F1917.31, F1915.69; additional jades organized by types shown in same case)
Based on a Neolithic stone tool whose blade is sharpened at the top, early jade chisels were ceremonial rather than utilitarian. The shape was retained in the jade repertoire in the Shang 商 and Chou [Zhou] 周 periods. The simple, elegant shape of a chisel is subtly embellished by smoothly ground edges, which are shown to advantage by the lustrous polish of the entire surface.
Most chisels have a single perforation, often drilled from one side only, resulting in a hole whose diameter is larger on one side of the piece. This long, sleek chisel displays two holes drilled from opposite sides, with faint traces of an incised design between them.