Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Polished Stone Axe (Masei sekifu)

Late Jōmon period (ca. 1500–1000 B.C.)
H. 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm); W. 2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm); D. 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm)
Credit Line:
The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975
Accession Number:
Not on view
The polished axe (masei sekifu) or celt is the most common type of stone implement used during the Neolithic age in East Asia. Such examples have been excavated with Jōmon pottery, as well as with Yayoi pottery and bronze artifacts. The earliest Japanese examples are said to date to 30,0000 years B.C., and are among the oldest stone implements in the world.
[ Harry G. C. Packard , Tokyo, until 1975; donated and sold to MMA].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art in Early Japan," 1999–2000.

New York. Japan Society Gallery. "Traditional Japanese Design: Five Tastes," September 26, 2001–January 13, 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Five Thousand Years of Japanese Art: Treasures from the Packard Collection," December 17, 2009–June 10, 2010.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscapes in Japanese Art," June 24, 2010–November 7, 2010.

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