Water buffalo

Compact, block-like body with curving horns, blunt ears and head indicated summarily.

Historical period(s)
Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1300-ca. 1050 BCE
Medium
Marble
Dimensions
H x W x D: 8.5 × 15.4 × 7.8 cm (3 3/8 × 6 1/16 × 3 1/16 in)
Geography
China, probably Henan province, Anyang
Credit Line
Transfer from the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1978.30
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Sculpture, Stone
Type

Sculpture (animal)

Keywords
Anyang period (ca. 1300 - ca. 1050 BCE), buffalo, China, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

1940
C. T. Loo & Co., New York, from at least January 1940 [1]

From 1940 to 1951
Eduard von der Heydt (1882-1964), Ascona, Switzerland, purchased from C. T. Loo on September 21, 1940 and lent to the Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo, New York [2]

1951
US Government vested Eduard von der Heydt's property under the provisions of "Trading with the Enemy Act" by vesting order, dated August 21, 1951 [3]

From 1964 to 1973
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, from March 1964 [4]

From 1973
Freer Gallery of Art, transferred from National Museum of Natural History in 1973 [5]

Notes:

[1] The sculpture was exhibited by C. T. Loo in January 1940, see C. T. Loo & Co., An Exhibition of Chinese Stone Sculptures (New York, 1940), cat. 4 (ill.). According to the catalogue's entry, the sculpture was found in Anyang. See also "China's Monumentality in Stone," Art Digest (January 15, 1940), pp. 15, 31.

[2] See "Catalogue of the Von der Heydt Loan to the Buffalo Museum of Science: Loan Material from Baron Von der Heydt, as of March 1949," where the sculpture is documented under an inventory card no. 40108, copy in object file.

[3] See Vesting Order No. 18344, August 21, 1951, Office of Alien Property, Department of Justice. Eduard von der Heydt exhausted all the legal remedies against the forfeiture of his property provided to him by the Trading with the Enemy Act.

[4] Attorney General, Robert Kennedy authorized transfer of the von der Heydt collection from Buffalo Museum of Science to the custody of the Smithsonian Institution in March 1964. The collection was transferred to the National Museum of Natural History. In 1966 US Congress legislated transferring the title of the von der Heydt collection to the Smithsonian Institution, see Public Law 89-503, 80 Stat. 287, July 18, 1966. The sculpture was accessioned under no. 448091, see "Smithsonian Office of Anthropology Accession Data," copy in object file.

[5] The sculpture was among 13 objects in the von der Heydt collection transferred from National Museum of Natural History to the Freer Gallery of Art, see "Smithsonian Institution Intramural Transfer of Specimens" memorandum, dated January 29, 1973, copy in object file. The sculpture was accessioned to the Freer Gallery Study Collection under no. FSC-S-7 and subsequently transferred to the permanent collection in August 1978.

Previous Owner(s)

National Museum of Natural History, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution
Baron Eduard von der Heydt 1882-1964
C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948

Description

Compact, block-like body with curving horns, blunt ears and head indicated summarily.

Published References
  • An Exhibition of Chinese Stone Sculpture. New York. cat. 4, pl. 2.
  • Julia Murray. A Decade of Discovery: Selected Acquisitions 1970-1980. Exh. cat. Washington, 1979. cat. 1, p. 11.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
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