jade cylinder with square shaped exterior and round interior, shallow relief carver on each side, possible representing zoomorphic designs that have been worn off. Dark jade material with many striations and mottles. Come in custom-designed silk box enclosed in a fine hardwood box. The inscription on wooden box indicates that the object was once part of the Duan Fang collection in late 19th century. Duan Fang was a Manchu stateman and reknowned antiquarian. His inscription date the object to the Zhou period. Recent archaeological work suggests that the object was probably made in the late 3rd millennium B.C.E. and remained in circulation by Shang period of the late 2nd millennium B.C.E.
ritual object, once probably zoomorphic line carvings on the surface of mystical animals, usually such objects were discovered in elite tombs of the late prehistoric to early Bronze Age China (3rd to 2nd millennium BCE)