string(19) "edanmdm:fsg_F1939.6" Finial in the form of a bird - National Museum of Asian Art

Finial in the form of a bird

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2
IIIF

Terms of Use

Usage Conditions Apply

At A Glance

  • Period

    20th century
  • Geography

    said to have been unearthed at Anyang, China
  • Material

    Jade (nephrite)
  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 9.1 x 4 x 0.3 cm (3 9/16 x 1 9/16 x 1/8 in)
  • Accession Number

    F1939.6
  • EDAN ID

    edanmdm:fsg_F1939.6

Object Details

  • Description

    Flat, thin ornament of translucent, gray green nephrite with whiter areas; a bird in profile silhouette with details defined by double grooves on both surfaces; two holes for suspension.
  • Provenance

    As early as 1928
    Reportedly discovered at archeological sites in Anyang, Honan Province, China [1]
    To 1939
    Zhang Naiji (1899-1948), Shanghai, China then New York, NY [2]
    From 1939
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased through C. T. Loo & Company, New York from Zhang Naiji on April 17, 1939 [3]
    Notes:
    [1] According to information provided by Zhang Naiji to John E. Lodge at the time of acquisition, see J. E. Lodge's note, 1939, in object file. Zhang Naiji stated that he had obtained the jades, selected by the Freer Gallery from a group of about 350 pieces offered for sale (F1939.6 - F1939.26 and F1939.28 - F1939.33), at the places of their excavation. Lodge commented in his 1939 note: "I see no good reason to doubt [Zhang's] statement. I have, therefore, specified Shou Chou, or An-yang, or Lo-yang (Chin Ts'un) as the source of a piece in accordance with Mr. Chang's [Zhang's] designations given in my presence and recorded by me." Excavations at Anyang began in 1928.
    [2] See note 1.
    See also "List of objects contemplated for purchase by Freer Gallery of Art," approved on February 1, 1939, Freer Gallery Purchase List, copy in object file. According to an annotation on the list, the purchase was made from C. T. Loo & Company, New York acting as an agent for the owner and the payment was made on April 17, 1939.
    Zhang Naiji (also known as N.C. Chang) was a businessman, born to a prestigious family in Zhejiang that made their wealth in the silk and salt industries. He collected ancient Chinese art objects and Chinese coins. Zhang amassed his collection whilst living in Shanghai, before leaving for America in 1938. Zhang did not return to China until 1946.
    While the earliest documentation of Zhang's ownership of the jade dates to February 1939, we know that he acquired the objects in China before his departure.
    [3] See "List of objects contemplated for purchase by Freer Gallery of Art," cited in note 2.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Chinese Bronze, Jade, Marble (March 1, 1957 to January 1, 1963)
    Centennial Exhibition, Galleries 14 and 15 (February 25, 1956 to March 1, 1957)
    Untitled Exhibition, Ancient Chinese Art, 1955 (October 24, 1955 to February 25, 1956)
    Untitled Exhibition, Chinese Art, 1955 (August 26, 1955 to October 25, 1955)
    Untitled Exhibition, Ancient Chinese Art, 1945 (January 9, 1945 to August 20, 1955)
    Untitled Exhibition, Chinese Art, 1944 (November 15, 1944 to May 6, 1946)
    Untitled Exhibition, Ancient Chinese Art, 1943 (March 22, 1943 to November 17, 1944)
    Untitled Exhibition, Chinese Metalwork (March 14, 1931 to March 22, 1943)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Zhang Naiji 張乃驥 (1899-1948)
  • Origin

    said to have been unearthed at Anyang, China
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

    Jewelry and Ornament
  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The National Museum of Asian Art welcomes information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Keep Exploring