Fitting with masks (taotie)

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2

Terms of Use

Usage Conditions Apply

At A Glance

On View
  • Period

    ca. 1250-ca. 1050 BCE
  • Geography

    Anyang, probably Henan province, China
  • Material

  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 8.6 × 5.1 × 2.3 cm (3 3/8 × 2 × 7/8 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Ornamental carving in high and low relief slightly damaged at top apparently by calcination.
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Fritz Low-Beer (1906-1976)
  • Provenance

    From at least 1948
    F. Low-Beer & Co., New York, N.Y., from at least January 1948 [1]
    From October 1948
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Fritz Low-Beer (1906-1976) on October 26, 1948 [2]
    [1] Fritz Low-Beer mentioned the carving in his correspondence with John A. Pope, Assistant Director, Freer Gallery of Art, see F. Low-Beer to J. A. Pope, January 8, 1948.
    The object was shipped to the Freer Gallery of Art for acquisition consideration on February 2, 1948, and approved for purchase next month, see R. W. Edwards to F. Low-Beer, February 2, 1948, and the document confirming the examination of the object and approval by the Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, the Commission of Fine Arts, and Katherine Rhoades, dated March 24, 1948, copy in object file.
    [2] See Low-Beer’s invoice, dated October 26, 1948, where the object is listed as “Marble carving with T’ao t’ie decoration. Said to come from Anyang (Honan). Shang,” copy in object file.
  • Origin

    Anyang, probably Henan province, China
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

    Jewelry and Ornament
  • On View

    Sackler Gallery 24b: Anyang: China's Ancient City of Kings
  • 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