Pendant in the form of a mask, probably reworked from a tube (cong 琮)

Mask with convex surface. Pierced jaws and horns. Eye, jaw, and horns with spiral decoration are in doubly engraved line-relief. Engraved diamond on forehead. Reverse undecorated. Translucent green jade, brown marking on one edge. (Traces of earth; minor flaws.)

Historical period(s)
Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1300-ca. 1050 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 3.2 x 4.6 x 1.6 cm (1 1/4 x 1 13/16 x 5/8 in)
Geography
China, probably Henan province, Anyang
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1987.550
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Jade, Jewelry and Ornament
Type

Pendant

Keywords
animal, Anyang period (ca. 1300 - ca. 1050 BCE), carving, China, mask, nephrite, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

At least 1941 to 1948
C. T. Loo & Company, New York, NY [1]

1948 to 1953
C. T. Loo, INC., New York, NY by transfer from C. T. Loo & Company, NY [2]

1953 to 1961
C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York, NY by transfer from C. T. Loo, INC., NY [3]

1961 to 1964
Frank Caro Chinese Art, New York, NY, mode of acquisition known [4]

1964 to 1987
Arthur M. Sackler, New York, NY purchased in New York City from Frank Caro Chinese Art, New York, NY on August 27, 1964 [5]

From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler on September 11, 1987 [6]

Notes:

[1] C. T. Loo & Company featured the object in a 1941 sale; see C. T. Loo & Company, Exhibition of Chinese Arts, catalogue of a Special Sale. C. T. Loo & Company, New York, NY (November 1,1941 to April 30, 1942), no. 244.

[2] In 1948, when C. T. Loo could no longer trade in mainland China, he closed C. T. Loo & Company and opened C. T. Loo, INC.

[3] On September 1, 1952, C. T. Loo’s associate, Frank Caro (1904-1980) took over daily operations of the New York business. C. T. Loo, INC. 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. Caro assigned new inventory numbers to C. T. Loo & Company’s stock, assigning numbers with an “E” prefix. This object was included in that inventory process (see inventory number cited in note 4).

[4] 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). See invoice from Frank Caro Chinese Art to Arthur M. Sackler, August 27, 1964, stock no. E 5679, “Small greenish tiger. (Jade Cat. Pl 18 #8 and Red Cat. #244)”, copy in object file. When Frank Caro acquired C. T. Loo’s stock (see note 1), he inventoried the objects and assigned new stock numbers, giving C. T. Loo & Company’s objects new numbers, many of which had an “E” prefix.

[5] 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)

Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987
C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948
C.T. Loo, INC. ca. 1948-no later than July 1953
C.T. Loo Chinese Art 1953 - 1961
Frank Caro Chinese Art 1962-1980

Description

Mask with convex surface. Pierced jaws and horns. Eye, jaw, and horns with spiral decoration are in doubly engraved line-relief. Engraved diamond on forehead. Reverse undecorated. Translucent green jade, brown marking on one edge. (Traces of earth; minor flaws.)

Published References
  • C.T. Loo & Company, (Introduction) Lindsay Hughes Cooper. An Exhibition of Archaic Chinese Jades. Exh. cat. New York. plate 18, no. 8.
  • Exhibition of Chinese Arts, Special Sale. Exh. cat. New York, 1941-1942. no. 244.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
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