Nine-tier tube (cong 琮) with masks

Ts’ung [cong] 琮. Marbled dark gray-green with rust streaks. A squarish cylinder is pierced lengthwise by a large tubular hole drilled from both sides. A low ledge on the inner walls of the hole marks the junction of the two drills. The four corners of the cylinder are accented by a series of notched projections running the length of the cylinder, leaving only a narrow collar at top and bottom. The notches are marked by fine and closely packed horizontal lines. Small incised circles on either side of the corners suggest eyes.

Maker(s)
Artist: Liangzhu culture 良渚 (ca. 3300-ca. 2250 BCE)
Historical period(s)
Late Neolithic period, ca. 3300-2250 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 22.3 × 7.6 × 7.6 cm (8 3/4 × 3 × 3 in) Diam (hole - top): 5.6 cm (2 3/16 in)
Geography
China, Lake Tai region
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Accession Number
S1987.468
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceremonial Object, Jade
Type

Ceremonial object

Keywords
China, Late Neolithic period (ca. 5000 - ca. 1700 BCE), nephrite, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To 1959
Abel William Bahr (1877-1959), Shanghai, China, London, England, Montreal, Canada, New York, NY, and Ridgefield, Connecticut [1]

From 1963 to 1987
Arthur M. Sackler, New York, purchased from the Bahr Collection in 1963 [2]

From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler on September 11, 1987 [3]

Notes:

[1] According to information provided by the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, October 9, 2009.

[2] See #160: "Dark green with brown stains and mottling. Dec. along four corners by nine separate rectangular fields in relief carvings of abstract masks. Wooden stand and box...Upper and lower corners broken off," on list provided by the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, October 9, 2009, copy in object file.

[3] 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.

Previous Owner(s)

Abel William Bahr 1877-1959
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987

Description

Ts’ung [cong] 琮. Marbled dark gray-green with rust streaks. A squarish cylinder is pierced lengthwise by a large tubular hole drilled from both sides. A low ledge on the inner walls of the hole marks the junction of the two drills. The four corners of the cylinder are accented by a series of notched projections running the length of the cylinder, leaving only a narrow collar at top and bottom. The notches are marked by fine and closely packed horizontal lines. Small incised circles on either side of the corners suggest eyes.

Published References
  • Dr. Paul Singer. Chinese Art: A Thousand Masterpieces from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections. Washington, DC, 2000. cat. 12, p. 60.
  • et al. Asian Art in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Inaugural Gift. Washington, 1987. cat. 34, p. 78.
  • Elizabeth Childs-Johnson Fang Gu. Yuqi shidai: Meiguo bowuguan cang Zhongguo zaoqi yuqi (The Jade Age: Early Chinese Jades in American Museums). Beijing, 2009. p. 120.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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