Ornament with mask, reworked from a tube (cong)?

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1

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At A Glance

  • Period

    ca. 600-476 BCE
  • Material

  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 4.4 x 5.1 x 1.1 cm (1 3/4 x 2 x 7/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Previous custodian or owner

    Zhang Naiji 張乃驥 (1899-1948)
    Zhang Mei Chien (1900-1998)
    C.T. Loo Chinese Art (1953-1961)
    Frank Caro Chinese Art (1962-1980)
    J.T. Tai & Co. (established in 1950)
    Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987)
  • Provenance

    As early as 1928
    Purportedly discovered in Henan province, Anyang [1]
    To 1948
    Zhang Naiji (1899–1948), Shanghai, China, then New York, NY [2]
    1948 to around 1954
    Zhang Mei Chien (1901–ca. 1955), New York, NY, inherited upon her husband’s death [3]
    Possibly around 1954 to 1961
    C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York, NY, likely purchased from Zhang Mei Chien in New York, NY [4]
    Possibly from 1961 to 1964
    Frank Caro Chinese Art, New York, NY, mode of acquisition unknown [5]
    Possibly from around 1954 to 1960s
    J. T. Tai and Company, New York, NY, possibly purchased from Zhang Mei Chien in New York, NY [6]
    By 1986 to 1987
    Arthur M. Sackler, New York, NY, purchased from either Frank Caro Chinese Art or J. T. Tai and Company in New York, NY [7]
    From 1987
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler in 1987 [8]
    [1] Discovery site noted in Archaic Chinese Jades: Special Exhibition February 1940 (Philadelphia: The University Museum, 1940), cat. 231. Excavations at Anyang began in 1928. This discovery site is unlikely given the style of the object.
    [2] 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, and acquired his objects onsite of archaeological excavations (see Alfred Salmony, Chinese Jade through the Wei Dynasty [New York: The Ronald Press Company, 1963], p. 115).
    Zhang lent his collection anonymously to Archaic Chinese Jades: Special Exhibition. We know his identity through letters housed in the Department of Archives, The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (see letter from C. T. Loo to Horace Jayne, October 25, 1939, and letter from C. T. Loo to Horace Jayne, December 16, 1939), copies in Freer and Sackler COM provenance files. The exhibition was entirely organized by C. T. Loo and Company, New York. Letters exchanged between C. T. Loo and the director of The University Museum, Mr. Horace H. F. Jayne, reveal that Zhang Naiji owned the objects and C. T. Loo and
    Company had the collection on consignment (see letter from C. T. Loo to Horace Jayne, May 28, 1939, and letter from C. T. Loo to Horace Jayne, October 23, 1940, copies on COM provenance files). C. T. Loo and Company kept the jade collection on consignment from 1940 through Zhang’s death in 1948, inventorying the pieces with a prefix “J” and labeling each item as “Chang [Zhang] Collection.”
    [3] Zhang Mei Chien, Zhang Naiji’s wife, assumed ownership upon his death in 1948. She sold several pieces from her husband’s collection to J. T. Tai and Company in July 1954 (for example, see J. T. Tai and Company Stock
    Record YT 886 and YT 895, copies in COM provenance files). It is unclear when Frank Caro, C. T. Loo’s associate and successor to C. T. Loo and Company, purchased items from Zhang Mei Chien.
    [4] C. T. Loo and Company displayed Zhang’s jade collection in the 1940 Philadelphia exhibition (see note 2). After Zhang Naiji’s death in 1948, Zhang Mei Chien sold several pieces of her husband’s jade collection to C. T. Loo
    Chinese Art. C. T. Loo Chinese Art formed on September 1, 1952, when C. T. Loo’s associate, Frank Caro (1904–1980) took over daily operations of the New York business. 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.
    [5] In 1961, Loo and Caro’s agreement ended. C. T. Loo and 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 acquired several ancient jades from C. T. Loo Chinese Art and sold them to Dr. Sackler in the 1960s
    (for example, see S1987.668 and S1987.644).
    [6] J. T. Tai and Company, New York, purchased several jades from Mrs. Zhang in July of 1954 and sold several pieces to Arthur M. Sackler in the 1960s (see, for example: S1987.29 and S1987.897).
    [7] Arthur M. Sackler likely purchased this jade in the 1960s from either Frank Caro Chinese Art or J. T. Tai and Company (see notes 4 and 5). The object was part of his foundational 1987 gift to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, thus it was in his collection by 1986.
    [8] 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.
  • Credit Line

    Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
  • Type

    Jewelry and Ornament
  • Restrictions and Rights

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