Skip to contentSkip to navigation
Become a Member
Explore today's schedule
Visit MMFA for free by becoming a Member
Learn more
Back
Currently shown

Ritual Sceptre (zhang)

Location

CHINA

Era

Shang (about 1600-1050 B.C.E.) or Western Zhou dynasty (about 1050-771 B.C.E.)

Title

Ritual Sceptre (zhang)

Date

About 1200-1000 B.C.E.

Materials

Marbled blue-grey jade

Dimensions

29.2 x 7.1 cm

Credits

Purchase, Moodie Fund, inv. 1919.Ed.7

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

Jade sceptres and daggers in forms derived from earlier lithic and later bronze weapons became symbols of authority during the Neolithic and early Bronze Age periods. The valuable material and fine workmanship became signifiers of power, expressing in society their owners’ privileged access to resources and skilled artists. These objects were made to be displayed to audiences – including the spirits – and thus reinforce the transcendental influence of those who possessed and flaunted them.

A touch of culture to your inbox
Subscribe to the Museum newsletter

Bourgie Hall Newsletter sign up

This website uses cookies in order to optimize your browsing experience and for promotional purposes. To learn more, please see our policy on the protection of personal Iinformation