1931 to 1932
Purportedly discovered in tomb located in Shou xian, Anhui province, China 
Zhang Naiji (1899–1948), Shanghai, China, then New York, NY 
1948 to early 1950s
Zhang Mei Chien (1901–ca.1955), New York, NY, inherited upon her husband’s death 
Around 1954 to 1961
C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York, NY, likely purchased from Mei Chien Zhang 
Around 1961 to 1964
Frank Caro Chinese Art, New York, NY, mode of acquisition unknown 
1964 to 1987
Arthur M. Sackler, New York, NY purchased from Frank Caro Chinese Art on August 27, 1964, in New York, NY 
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler in 1987 
 Object published in Archaic Chinese Jades: Special Exhibition, February 1940 (Philadelphia: The University Museum, 1940), cat. 128 or 132. 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.
 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).
Zhang lent his collection anonymously to Archaic Chinese Jades: Special Exhibition. We know his identity through letters housed in the Department of Archives, The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (see letter from C. T. Loo to Horace Jayne, October 25, 1939, and letter from C. T. Loo to Horace Jayne, December 16, 1939), copies in Freer and Sackler COM provenance files. The exhibition was entirely organized by C. T. Loo and Company, New York. Letters exchanged between C. T. Loo and the director of The University Museum, Mr. Horace H. F. Jayne, reveal that Zhang Naiji owned the objects and C. T. Loo and Company had the 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). C. T. Loo and Company kept the jade collection on consignment from 1940 through Zhang’s death in 1948, inventorying the pieces with a prefix “J” and labeling each item as “Chang [Zhang] Collection.”
 Zhang Mei Chien, Zhang Naiji’s wife, assumed ownership upon his death in 1948. She sold several pieces from her husband’s collection to both C. T. Loo and Company (later C. T. Loo, INC, and C. T. Loo Chinese Art) and J. T. Tai and Company. She sold to J. T. Tai and Company in July 1954 (for example, see J. T. Tai and Company stock record YT 886 and YT 895, copies in COM provenance files).
 See note 3. When C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York and Paris, purchased the object, they retained the same stock number that they assigned the object when the company consigned it: J14b (see note 7). The exact date
of purchase is unknown. 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. It is unclear when C. T. Loo Chinese Art acquired items from Zhang Mei Chien, but we know they did as this object and several other jades from Zhang’s collection were sold by Frank Caro through his subsequent business.
 In 1961, Loo and Caro’s agreement ended. C. T. Loo and 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 J 14b: “Pair of dragons” on invoice from Frank Caro Chinese Art addressed to Dr. Arthur M. Sackler, August 27, 1964, copy in accession file.
 See note 7. This object was part of Arthur M. Sackler’s 1987 foundational gift.
 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) and Custodian(s)
Zhang Naiji 1899-1948
Zhang Mei Chien 1900-1998
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987
C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948
C.T. Loo Chinese Art 1953-1961
Frank Caro Chinese Art 1962-1980
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
- Web Resources
- Jades for Life and Death
- Google Cultural Institute
- SI Usage Statement
Usage Conditions Apply
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)
Usage Conditions Apply
Chrome users: right click on icon, select "save link as..."
Internet Explorer users: right click on icon, select "save target as..."
Mozilla Firefox users: right click on icon, select "save link as..."
International Image Interoperability Framework
IIIF Manifest Data/Viewers