30th November 2017
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An impressive Chinese jade dagger-axe blade, late Shang/Zhou dynasty (16th-11th century BC), of mottled spinach green colour, the channelled blade edge with mottled calcified cloud effect inclusions, the blade itself of finely polished form with a central ridge continuing into the drilled hilt, the upper blade finely incised to the front and back with a lozenge trellis and to one side with a lengthy inscription, length 49.4cm, maximum blade width 8.9cm (old repair), bearing a paper label with a translation of the inscription: 'In the Royal 12th year. In the 1st moon, and the fortunate 1st day. The King whilst staying in the Capital, caused to be made this blade of jade. May it be for perpetual use. Translation by L.C. Hopkins'. Provenance: from the estate of the late Frederick Sydney Clark (1923-2016), formerly in the Harry Geoffrey Beasley Collection. Note: Harry Beasley (1881-1939) was a British anthropologist and museum curator who set up the Cranmore Ethnographical Museum, which eventually held more than 6000 objects. He died from diabetes in 1939 and his collection was stored with the British Museum collections during the war, which was fortunate as the Cranmore Museum was destroyed by bombing. After the war, substantial portions of the Beasley Collection were passed to the British Museum, the Royal Museum in Edinburgh, Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford and the Liverpool Museums. Other pieces were sold by his widow and, after her death in 1974, by their daughters.
Hammer price: £52,000
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