Pendant in the form of a turtle

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 3

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At A Glance

On View
  • Period

    ca. 1250-ca. 1050 BCE
  • Geography

    Anyang, probably Henan province, China
  • Material

    Jade (nephrite)
  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 3.4 × 5 × 1.2 cm (1 5/16 × 2 × 1/2 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Pendant; turtle, carved in round; no decoration; pierced at shoulder; translucent green. (Mostly calcified; much surface damage; pits, worn; feet one side, tail chipped off; red deposit.)
    (Jenny F. So, October 17, 1996) The large smooth shell, marked by a low central ridge, dominates this sculpture of a turtle. Turning slightly to one side, the creature's head shows round eyes in low relief. Its feet emerge from under the shell asymmetrically, as if it is in motion; those on one side are damaged. A small hole is drilled at the base of the neck on one side.
  • Provenance

    Alfred F. Pillsbury, Minneapolis, MN [1]
    By 1958 to 1961
    C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York, NY, mode of acquisition known [2]
    1962 to 1964
    Frank Caro Chinese Art, New York, NY, mode of acquisition unknown [3]
    1964 to 1987
    Dr. Arthur M. Sackler, New York, purchased from Frank Caro Chinese Art in New York City on August 27, 1964 [4]
    From 1987
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Dr. Arthur M. Sackler on September 11, 1987 [5]
    [1] In 1939, Alfred F. Pillsbury of Minneapolis loaned the object to the Arden Gallery; see 3000 Years of Chinese Jade exh. cat. (New York: Arden Gallery, January 10 – February 11,1939), no. 103 (ill).
    [2] In 1958, C. T. Loo Chinese Art lent the object to the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, CT; See 4000 Years of Chinese Art: An Exhibition Organized and Lent by C. T. Loo exh. cat. Wadsworth Atheneum (October 17 to November 30, 1958), no. 32.
    On September 1, 1952, C. T. Loo’s associate, Frank Caro (1904-1980) took over daily operations of C. T. Loo’s New York business C. T. Loo, INC. This company was dissolved by the summer of 1953 and Caro operated as C. T. Loo Chinese Art. Loo continued to play a large role in the business, as he and Caro struck a deal in which profits made on Loo’s stock would be evenly divided and Loo would maintain the lease and rental payments on the company’s gallery space.
    [3] In 1961, Loo and Caro’s agreement ended. C. T. Loo & Cie., Paris, France took control of C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York’s stock that C. T. Loo had added to the inventory before his death in 1957. Frank Caro then opened Frank Caro Chinese Art. Caro acquired pieces from Loo’s original stock (the mode of acquisition is unknown). Frank Caro Chinese Art stock no. FC-2391: "Archaic jade turtle, greenish grey jade, traces of cinnabar," see invoice from Frank Caro Chinese Art to Arthur M. Sackler, August 27, 1964, copy in object file.
    [4] See note 3.
    [5] Pursuant to the agreement between Dr. 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.
  • Collection

    Arthur M. Sackler Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Anyang: China's Ancient City of Kings (February 25, 2023 to April 28, 2024)
    5000 Years of Chinese Jade (October 1, 2011 to February 19, 2012)
    Chinese Jade Animals (April 19 to July 14, 1996)
    4000 Years of Chinese Art (October 17 to November 30, 1958)
    300 Years of Chinese Jade (January 10 to February 11, 1939)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Alfred Fiske Pillsbury (1876-1950)
    C.T. Loo Chinese Art (1953-1961)
    Frank Caro Chinese Art (1962-1980)
    Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987)
  • Origin

    Anyang, probably Henan province, China
  • Credit Line

    Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
  • Type

    Jewelry and Ornament
  • On View

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

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