Shaft or mandrel for jade carving, Steel, China

鐵軸
Shaft or mandrel for jade carving

Date:
20th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Steel
Dimensions:
L. 20 1/8 in. (51.1 cm); Diam. 5/8 in. (1.6 cm)
Classification:
Hardstone
Credit Line:
Gift of Joan Hartman-Goldsmith, 1981
Accession Number:
1981.296.1
Not on view
These steel drills with blunt points (zhuangding or dingzi 
in Chinese), flat heads (tuozi), or curving heads (wazi) are used for high relief carving, undercutting, and fine shaping of small jade works. The craftsman holds the jade in one hand against the drill, which is mounted on a spinning shaft. He or she rotates the shaft using foot treadles, while continuously applying abrasives, usually sand mixed with water, to the tip of the drill, which cuts the jade.
S. Howard Hansford (Beijing, from 1939); Joan M. Hartman-Goldsmith American, New York (until 1981)
New York. China Institute in America. "Ritual and Power: Jades of Ancient China," April 19, 1988–June 19, 1988.