Pendant in the form of a coiled dragon

Curled dragon; open center; few incised details; translucent light green. (Nicks on ears.)

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 3.2 x 0.9 cm (1 1/4 x 1 1/4 x 3/8 in)
Geography
China, probably Henan province, Anyang
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Accession Number
S1987.583
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, Shang dynasty (ca. 1600 - ca. 1050 BCE), WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To late 1940
Zhang Naiji, Shanghai, China then New York, New York [1]

Possibly from late 1940
C.T. Loo & Company, New York [2]

Possibly to 1960s
Frank Caro, C. T. Loo & Company, New York, New York [3]

To 1963
J. T. Tai & Co., New York, New York [4]

From 1963 to 1987
Arthur M. Sackler, New York, purchased from J. T. Tai & Co., New York, New York, in 1963 [5]

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

Notes:

[1] Zhang Naiji (N.C. Chang) lent the object to Archaic Chinese Jades: Special Exhibition (Philadelphia: The University Museum, February 1940), cat. 113 (ill.). Zhang anonymous loaned his collection to the exhibition; his identity is known 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.
Zhang was a salt merchant born to a prestigious family in Zhejiang. 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 them onsite of archeological excavations (see: Alfred Salmony, Chinese Jade: Through the Wei Dynasty. New York: The Ronald Press Company, 1963, 115).

[2] C. T. Loo displayed Zhang’s jade collection in the 1940 Philadelphia exhibition. Shortly after the return of the jades to Zhang Naiji, C.T. Loo and fellow art dealer, J. T. Tai of J. T. Tai and Company, also working in New York, purchased pieces of Zhang’s collection (see: Dr. Paul Singer, Reminiscences of a Transient Custodian, 1993, ms., FǀS Archives, Paul Singer Papers, p. 83-84). It is unclear if J. T. Tai purchased directly from Zhang or if Loo purchased and his company then sold the works to Tai.

[3] Frank Caro, Loo’s associate, acquired C. T. Loo’s stock after liquidation of C.T. Loo & Co. in 1952. C.T. Loo announced his retirement and the liquidation of the New York firm in 1950, however it was not until September 1, 1952 that Loo finally sold his stock and Frank Caro took over C. T. Loo & Co.’s holdings, sometimes operating at C.T. Loo & Company and at other times as Frank Caro Chinese Art. Frank Carol sold several jades from Zhang’s collection to Arthur M. Sackler (see, for example: S1987.668 and S1987.644).

[4] See Tai's invoice dated X/15/63, copy in object file.

[5] See Tai’s invoice dated X/15/63, copy in object file.

[6] 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
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987
J.T. Tai & Co. established in 1950

Description

Curled dragon; open center; few incised details; translucent light green. (Nicks on ears.)

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
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