Suspension bell with masks (taotie) and birds

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 4

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At A Glance

On View
  • Period

    ca. 1100-1050 BCE
  • Geography

    middle Yangzi River valley, China
  • Material

  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 31.4 × 26.2 × 15.2 cm (12 3/8 × 10 5/16 × 6 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Provenance

    By 1924-to at least 1934
    C.T. Loo & Company, New York, method of acquisition unknown [1]
    By 1959
    Tonying and Company, Inc., New York, method of acquisition unknown [2]
    Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), purchased from Tonying & Company, New York [3]
    From 1987
    The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler [4]
    [1] See Tch’ou Tö-Yi, “Bronzes Antiques de le Chine appartenant à C.T. Loo et Cie” [book] (Paris et Bruxelles: Librairie Nationale d’Art et d’Histoire, 1924), pl. 7, pp. 18-19. See also Serge Elisséeff, “Quelques heures à l’Exposition des Bronzes Chinois: Orangerie, Mai-Juin 1934” in “Revue des arts asiatiques,” vol. 8, no. 4 (1934), pl. 67a, p. 234, where the object is identified as C.T. Loo catalog no. 178. C. T. Loo (1880-1957) was one of the most prominent and well-known figures in the world of Chinese art in the first half of the twentieth century. Loo owned and operated eponymous galleries in New York and Paris, where he offered Chinese, Indian, and South Asian antiquities for study and sale.?
    [2] See object file for copy of Tonying and Company invoice #144 to Dr. Arthur M. Sackler, dated January 12, 1959, for a “Fine Bronze Bell with incised floral decoration.” The Tonying (Tongyun) Company was established in Paris in 1902 by Zhang Renjie (1877-1950), also known as Zhang Jingjiang. Zhang gained an official appointment in 1902 as an attaché of the Qing government’s Minister to France, and while in Paris he established the Tonying Company for the import and sale of works of art, tea and silk. The Tonying Company remained a family business while branching out to New York, from its original base in Paris and its source in Shanghai, where Zhang’s brother-in-law C. F. Yau was the manager.
    [3] See Robert W. Bagley, “Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections: Volume 1 of Ancient Chinese Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections” [book] (The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, and The Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University: Washington, D.C. and Cambridge, MA, 1987), cat. 104, pp. 538-551. Dr. Arthur M. Sackler was a physician, medical publisher, pharmaceutical marketer, and collector of Asian art. See also note 2.
    [4] Pursuant to the agreement between Arthur M. Sackler and the Smithsonian Institution, dated July 28, 1982, legal title of the donated objects was transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on September 11, 1987.
    Research updated April 25, 2023
  • Collection

    Arthur M. Sackler Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Anyang: China's Ancient City of Kings (February 25, 2023 to April 28, 2024)
    Resound: Ancient Bells of China (October 14, 2017 - July 5, 2021)
    The Arts of China (November 18, 1990 to September 7, 2014)
    Chinese Bronzes from the Sackler Collection (November 19 to December 30, 1989)
    In Praise of Ancestors: Ritual Objects from China (September 28, 1987 to January 1, 1989)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    C.T. Loo & Company (1914-1948)
    Tonying and Company 通運公司 (established 1902)
    Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987)
  • Origin

    middle Yangzi River valley, China
  • Credit Line

    Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
  • Type

    Musical Instrument
  • On View

    Sackler Gallery 23a: Anyang: China's Ancient City of Kings
  • Restrictions and Rights

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