string(20) "edanmdm:fsg_S1987.36" Bell (bo) with mask (taotie), birds, and tigers - National Museum of Asian Art

Bell (bo) with mask (taotie), birds, and tigers

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 4

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At A Glance

  • Period

    ca. 1050-900 BCE
  • Geography

    Yangzi River valley, China
  • Material

  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 42 x 35.2 x 27.5 cm (16 9/16 x 13 7/8 x 10 13/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Provenance

    Unknown collector, method of acquisition unknown
    Sale, London, Sotheby & Co., “Important Chinese Ceramics, Archaic Bronzes, Jades and Works of Art” March 14, 1972, lot 11 [1]
    By 1972
    J. T. Tai & Co., New York, purchased at March 14, 1972 Sotheby & Co. Sale, London, UK [2]
    Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), purchased from J. T. Tai & Co., New York [3]
    From 1987
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler [4]
    [1] Sotheby & Co., “Important Chinese Ceramics, Archaic Bronzes, Jades and Works of Art” [auction catalog] (London: Sotheby & Co., 14 March 1972), lot 11, pp. 11, from the “Property of a Lady”.
    [2] See price list results for Sotheby & Co., “Important Chinese Ceramics, Archaic Bronzes, Jades and Works of Art” [auction catalog] (London: Sotheby & Co., 14 March 1972), lot 11, pp. 11. See also copy of J. T. Tai & Co., Inc. stock record for stock no. YT-6160, described a “Bronze bell (Chung),”, and including the full text of the lot description from the Sotheby’s sale on the back of the stock record, noting the purchase date as March 14, 1972, at “Sotheby & Co. lot 11.”. A handwritten note on the sales record states, “Purchased for Columbia University’s a/c.” Beginning in 1960, Arthur Sackler loaned a selection of his collection, including Chinese bronzes, to Columbia University for exhibition. Most of the objects would form the basis of what would become the Sackler Collection of Asian art at Columbia University.
    [3] See object file for copy of J. T. Tai & Co., invoice to Dr. Arthur M. Sackler, for “Purchases for Dr. A. M. Sackler Sotheby’s Sale of March 14th, 1972,” lot no. 11. J. T. Tai (1911-1992), was an incredibly important dealer in Chinese antiquities whose influence shaped American collections of Chinese art throughout the second half of the twentieth century. He began his career in China, and in early 1950 he emigrated to New York City with the help of C. T. Loo (1880-1957). Tai established himself as an independent dealer and opened a gallery on Madison Avenue by the autumn of 1950. See also Virginia C. Kane, “The Independent Bronze Industries in the South of China Contemporary with the Shang and Western Chou Dynasties,” “Archives of Asian Art” vol. 28 (1974-1975), fig. 21, pp. 85-88.
    [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. Dr. Arthur M. Sackler was a physician, medical publisher, pharmaceutical marketer, and collector of Asian art.
    Research updated June 9, 2023
  • Collection

    Arthur M. Sackler Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Resound: Ancient Bells of China (October 14, 2017 - July 5, 2021)
    The Arts of China (November 18, 1990 to September 7, 2014)
    In Praise of Ancestors: Ritual Objects from China (September 28, 1987 to January 1, 1989)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    J. T. Tai & Co. (established in 1950)
    Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987)
  • Origin

    Yangzi River valley, China
  • Credit Line

    Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
  • Type

    Musical Instrument
  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

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