An image of Gui ceremonial blade

Unknown Artist

Gui ceremonial blade

Other titles:
Ceremonial blade
Not on display
Further information

In shape, this ceremonial or funerary jade is reminiscent of a Neolithic stone harvesting knife, even down to the perforations along the unsharpened edge. On the original these would have served to attach a backing or grip for the hand. To make the blade, its outline would first have been drawn on a flat slab sawn from the block. Jade is so hard it cannot b cut with metals; the Chinese used an abrasive sand with a greater degree of hardness. During the Shang period such replicas of tools were used as ceremonial emblems.

‘The Asian Collections: Art Gallery of New South Wales’. pg.73
© 2003 Trustees, Art Gallery of New South Wales

Place of origin
China: Shang dynasty circa 1600–1100 BCE
Ceremonial object
52.1 x 9.5 x 0.3 cm; 56.5 x 10.0 x 1.0 cm mounted on mount; 56.5 x 12.5 x 13.9 cm object with stand
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Gift of Dr J.L. Shellshear 1954
Accession number