Earring with scrolls, one of a pair

Historical period(s)
Spring and Autumn period, Eastern Zhou dynasty, 8th-7th century BCE
Medium
Jade (?)
Dimensions
Diam x D: 4.1 x 0.3 cm (1 5/8 x 1/8 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1987.581
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Jade, Jewelry and Ornament
Type

Earring

Keywords
carving, China, Eastern Zhou dynasty (770 - 221 BCE), Spring and Autumn period (770 - 476 BCE), WWII-era provenance
Provenance

1931 to 1932
Likely discovered in tomb located in Shouxian, Anhwei Province, China [1]

To 1948
Zhang Naiji (1899–1948), Shanghai, China then New York, NY [2]

1948 to early 1950s
Zhang Mei Chien (1901–ca.1955), New York, NY inherited upon her husband’s death [3]

Around 1954 to 1961
C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York, NY likely purchased from Mei Chien Zhang [4]

Around 1961 to 1964
Frank Caro Chinese Art, New York, New York, mode of acquisition unknown [5]

1964 to 1987
Arthur M. Sackler, New York, NY purchased from Frank Caro Chinese Art on August 27, 1964 in New York, NY [6]

From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler in 1987 [7]

Notes:

[1] Object published in Archaic Chinese Jades: Special Exhibition (Philadelphia: The University Museum, February 1940), cat. 128 or 132. Catalogue entry notes discovery site as Shou-hsien (now known as Shouxian), where tombs were exposed between 1931 and 1932. During this period the tombs were never properly excavated.

[2] 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 archeological excavations (see: Alfred Salmony, Chinese Jade through the Wei Dynasty. New York: The Ronald Press Company, 1963: 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 Archeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (see: letter, C. T. Loo to Horace Jayne, 25 October 1939 and letter, from C. T. Loo to Horace Jayne, 16 December 1939), copies in FǀS COM provenance files. The exhibition was entirely organized by C. T. Loo & 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 & Company had the collection on consignment (see: letter, from C. T. Loo to Horace Jayne, 28 May 1939 and letter, from C. T. Loo to Horace Jayne, 23 October 1940, copies on COM provenance files). C. T. Loo & 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 Collection.”

[3] 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 & Company (later C. T. Loo, INC and C. T. Loo Chinese Art) and J. T. Tai & Company. She sold to J. T. Tai & Company in July 1954 (for example, see J. T. Tai & Company Stock Record YT 886 and YT 895, copies in COM provenance files).

[4] 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 at 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.

[5] 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 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.

[6] See note 7. This object was part of Arthur M. Sackler’s 1987 foundational gift.

[7] 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)

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
Google Cultural Institute
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