Pendant in the form of a dragon

Bow-shaped profile of a bottle-horned kui 夔. Slight carving of outline to indicate form. Horn in doubly beveled line-relief, other details including eye, nose, and paw in beveled engraving. Short plain projection from upturned tail terminates in tapered oblique edge. Perforation in mouth. Indentation in tail but no perforation. (Translucent pale gray jade almost completely calcified on one side, and in part on the other, to a light ivory color. Traces of earth. Minor nicks on powdery areas.)

Historical period(s)
Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1300-ca. 1050 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 8.7 x 3.4 x 0.2 cm (3 7/16 x 1 5/16 x 1/16 in)
Geography
China, probably Henan province, Anyang
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1987.555
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Jade, Jewelry and Ornament
Type

Pendant

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

At least from 1950 to 1953
C. T. Loo, INC., New York [1]

1953 to 1961
C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York, NY by transfer from C. T. Loo, INC., New York [2]

1961 to 1964
Frank Caro Chinese Art, New York, NY mode of acquisition unknown [3]

1964 to 1987
Arthur M. Sackler, New York, purchased from Frank Caro Chinese Art on August 27, 1964 in New York, NY [4]

From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler in 1987 [5]

Notes:

[1] Object published as part of the collection of C. T. Loo INC. in An Exhibition of Chinese Archaic Jades, arranged for Norton Gallery of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida (20 January to 1 March 1950, plate XX, no. 7. In 1950, C. T. Loo announced his retirement from C. T. Loo & Company, New York and Paris. Between 1950 and 1952, he continued to do business, however, he did so under the name C. T. Loo, INC. and organized exhibitions of his company’s stock using this new business name. C. T. Loo’s daughter, Janie Emanuel Loo operated the Paris branch of C. T. Loo & Company as C. T. Loo & Cie., Arts d’Asie.

[2] 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. The stock number for this object was E 5625 (see note 3).

[3] 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) and incorporated them into his own stock. Frank Caro Chinese Art continued to use the stock numbers assigned to objects by C. T. Loo Chinese Art. Frank Caro Chinese Art sold this object to Dr. Arthur Sackler. See: no. E 5625: "jade musical pick," on invoice from Frank Caro Chinese Art to Arthur M. Sackler, August 27, 1964, copy in accession file.

[4] See invoice cited in note 3.

[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, INC. ca. 1948-no later than July 1953
C.T. Loo Chinese Art 1953 - 1961
Frank Caro Chinese Art 1962-1980

Description

Bow-shaped profile of a bottle-horned kui 夔. Slight carving of outline to indicate form. Horn in doubly beveled line-relief, other details including eye, nose, and paw in beveled engraving. Short plain projection from upturned tail terminates in tapered oblique edge. Perforation in mouth. Indentation in tail but no perforation. (Translucent pale gray jade almost completely calcified on one side, and in part on the other, to a light ivory color. Traces of earth. Minor nicks on powdery areas.)

Published References
  • C.T. Loo & Company, (Introduction) Lindsay Hughes Cooper. An Exhibition of Archaic Chinese Jades. Exh. cat. New York. pl. 20, 7.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
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