string(23) "edanmdm:fsg_S2012.9.892" Button in the form of a flower - National Museum of Asian Art

Button in the form of a flower

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1
IIIF

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At A Glance

  • Period

    475-221 BCE
  • Geography

    Shou xian, purportedly found at Anhui province, China
  • Material

    Jade (nephrite)
  • Dimension

    H x Diam (overall): 2 x 2.3 cm (13/16 x 7/8 in)
  • Accession Number

    S2012.9.892
  • EDAN ID

    edanmdm:fsg_S2012.9.892

Object Details

  • Provenance

    1931 to 1932
    Purportedly discovered in a tomb located in Anhui province, Shou xian [1]
    By 1935 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]
    Around 1954 to 1957
    C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York, NY, possibly purchased from Zhang Mei Chien in New York, NY, in the early 1950s [4]
    1957 to 1997
    Paul Singer, Summit, NJ, purchased from C. T. Loo and Company on January 22, 1957, in New York, NY [5]
    1997 to 1999
    In the custody of Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, upon Paul Singer’s death in January 1997 and loan agreement
    between the Executors of the Singer Estate and the Gallery in February 1997 [6]
    From 1999
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, Paul Singer, the AMS Foundation for the
    Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, and the Children of Dr. Arthur M. Sackler [7]
    Notes:
    [1] Object published in Archaic Chinese Jades: Special Exhibition February 1940 (Philadelphia: The University Museum, 1940), cat. 219. Catalogue entry notes discovery site as Shou hsien (now known as Shou xian), where tombs were exposed between 1931 and 1932. During this period the tombs were never properly excavated.
    [2] Zhang Naiji (also known as N. C. Chang) lent the object to the International Exhibition of Chinese Art in London in 1935, see Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Chinese Art (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1935?), cat. 281 (mistakenly identified as a glass bead). 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). It is likely that Zhang acquired this object as early as 1928, however there is documentary proof that he owned the object in 1935.
    Zhang lent forty-five objects to the International Exhibition of Chinese Art and it is likely that these objects remained in his possession after the exhibition. At least eleven of the jades that Zhang lent to this exhibition came with him when he moved to New York in 1938 and were ultimately sold through C. T. Loo and Company (three of which are in the collection of the Freer and Sackler: S2012.9.328; S1987.597; and RLS1997.48.4374 ). There is no evidence to suggest that Zhang sold any of his jades during the European exhibition. C. T. Loo and Company, New York, NY, had Zhang’s jade 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) 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 to C. T. Loo Chinese Art, which was led by C. T. Loo’s associate, Frank Caro. The date of sale is unknown.
    [4] See note 3. On September 1, 1952, C. T. Loo’s associate, Frank Caro (1904–1980) took over daily operations of the New York business, operating 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. See C. T. Loo’s stock card no. J 117, which notes the sale to Dr. Singer on January 22, 1957, copy in accession file.
    [5] See note 4. The collection of Chinese art and antiquities assembled by Paul Singer was purchased by him on behalf of Dr. Arthur M. Sackler, Jillian Sackler, the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, the AMS Foundation for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities and later was transferred to the children of Dr. Arthur M. Sackler.
    [6] When Paul Singer died in January 1997, the Dr. Paul Singer Collection of Chinese Art came into the custody of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. A loan agreement between the Executors of the Singer Estate and the Gallery was signed in February 1997.
    [7] See “The Dr. Paul Singer Collection of Chinese Art Gift Agreement,” March 1999, Freer and Sackler Collections Management Office. This object was formally accessioned into the museum collection in 2012.
  • Collection

    Arthur M. Sackler Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Early Chinese Jades (April 24 to May 22, 1955)
    Archaic Chinese Jades, Special Exhibition (February 1940)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Zhang Naiji 張乃驥 (1899-1948)
    Zhang Mei Chien (1900-1998)
    C.T. Loo Chinese Art (1953-1961)
    Dr. Paul Singer (1904-1997)
  • Origin

    Shou xian, purportedly found at Anhui province, China
  • Credit Line

    The Dr. Paul Singer Collection of Chinese Art of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; a joint gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, Paul Singer, the AMS Foundation for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, and the Children of Arthur M. Sackler
  • Type

    Costume and Textile
  • Restrictions and Rights

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