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Sword pommel (jianshou)
近代 和田青玉 仿戰國劍首
Place of Origin: China
Date: 1900-1940
Historical Period: Qing dynasty (1644-1911) or Republic period (1912-1949)
Object Name: Arms and Armament
Materials: Nephrite
Dimensions: H. 3/16 in x Diam. 1 9/16 in, H. .48 cm x Diam. 4 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: Chinese Art
Collection: Jade And Stones
Object Number: B60J757
On Display: No

Description

Label:

A jade artisan carved this sword pommel from translucent greenish-white hetian jade. In the center of the thick, circular disc is a diamond filled with cross-hatching, surrounded by a raised central medallion with four scrolls representing clouds. A wide, sloping border incised with C-shaped volutes surrounds the disc. A deep circular groove on the back has three diagonally pierced holes, but they do not make the piece functional. The design is similar to a Warring States version.

Jade sword fittings—consisting of a pommel, a guard, a scabbard buckle, and a scabbard chape for metal swords—were popular during the Eastern Zhou and through the Han period. They were buried singly or in sets of two or four; the latter have often been discovered in noblemen's tombs. Five floral panels or three or four cloud scrolls surrounding a lattice cross were common designs for the central medallion. The wide border was rendered with comma spirals, sequences of C or S shapes in shallow relief, or incised lines; occasionally, artisans carved high-relief dragons. The circular groove on the back served either to affix the end of a sword handle directly to the pommel or to attach an iron cylinder into which the sword handle could be inserted. Among archaeological finds are pommels with zero, two, four, or six perforations on the back for tying the pommel to a sword handle (Zgyqqj 1993, vol. 3, plate 298; Museum of the Western Han Tomb of the King of Nanyue 1991, plates 183, 212–17).

In this jade, the central roundel with four spirals forming half-C shapes does not follow the design of Warring States pommels. In the old design, all four spirals formed completely symmetrical C shapes that faced the center horizontally. The holes and the grooved circle on the back of this piece all bear dense parallel tool marks, the result of a fast-spinning drill.


More Information

Exhibition History: Later Chinese Jades: Ming Dynasty to Early Twentieth Century (Tateuchi Gallery, 11/10/2007 - 8/2008)
"The Resplendent Stone: Chinese Jades from the 18th-20th Centuries," SFO International Terminal, December 12, 2009 - June 6, 2010
Label:

A jade artisan carved this sword pommel from translucent greenish-white hetian jade. In the center of the thick, circular disc is a diamond filled with cross-hatching, surrounded by a raised central medallion with four scrolls representing clouds. A wide, sloping border incised with C-shaped volutes surrounds the disc. A deep circular groove on the back has three diagonally pierced holes, but they do not make the piece functional. The design is similar to a Warring States version.

Jade sword fittings—consisting of a pommel, a guard, a scabbard buckle, and a scabbard chape for metal swords—were popular during the Eastern Zhou and through the Han period. They were buried singly or in sets of two or four; the latter have often been discovered in noblemen's tombs. Five floral panels or three or four cloud scrolls surrounding a lattice cross were common designs for the central medallion. The wide border was rendered with comma spirals, sequences of C or S shapes in shallow relief, or incised lines; occasionally, artisans carved high-relief dragons. The circular groove on the back served either to affix the end of a sword handle directly to the pommel or to attach an iron cylinder into which the sword handle could be inserted. Among archaeological finds are pommels with zero, two, four, or six perforations on the back for tying the pommel to a sword handle (Zgyqqj 1993, vol. 3, plate 298; Museum of the Western Han Tomb of the King of Nanyue 1991, plates 183, 212–17).

In this jade, the central roundel with four spirals forming half-C shapes does not follow the design of Warring States pommels. In the old design, all four spirals formed completely symmetrical C shapes that faced the center horizontally. The holes and the grooved circle on the back of this piece all bear dense parallel tool marks, the result of a fast-spinning drill.


Exhibition History: Later Chinese Jades: Ming Dynasty to Early Twentieth Century (Tateuchi Gallery, 11/10/2007 - 8/2008)
"The Resplendent Stone: Chinese Jades from the 18th-20th Centuries," SFO International Terminal, December 12, 2009 - June 6, 2010