Pendant (pei) in the form of a dragon

Historical period(s)
Eastern Zhou dynasty, 6th-5th century BCE
Medium
Jade
Dimensions
H x W x D: 11 x 2 x 0.5 cm (4 5/16 x 13/16 x 3/16 in)
Geography
China, Henan province, Liulige
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1987.612
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Jade, Jewelry and Ornament
Type

Jewelry

Keywords
carving, China, dragon, Eastern Zhou dynasty (770 - 221 BCE), WWII-era provenance
Provenance

1928 to 1929
Likely Discovered in tomb located in Jincun, Honan Provence, China. [1]

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

1948 to 1954
Zhang Mei Chien (1901–ca.1955), New York, NY inherited upon her husband’s death [3]

1954 to 1963
J. T. Tai & Company, New York, NY purchased from Zhang Mei Chien in New York, NY [4]

1963 to 1987
Arthur M. Sackler, New York, NY purchased from J. T. Tai & Company on May 15, 1963 in New York, NY [5]

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

Notes:

[1] Discovery site noted as Chin ts’un (now known as Juncun), see: Archaic Chinese Jades: Special Exhibition (Philadelphia: The University Museum, February 1940), cat. 44. Several tombs near Chin ts’un (Jincun) in Western Honan were discovered in the summer of 1928 after heavy rain, when sinkholes began to emerge. Immediately upon discovery, the tombs were heavily scavenged by locals. Only two tombs were systematically excavated (See: William Charles White, Tombs of Old Lo-Yang: A Record of the Construction and Contents of a group of Royal Tombs at Chin-ts’un, probably dating to 550 bc. Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh Limited, 1934 and William Charles White, “China’s Cultural Heritage” in Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada vol. 37 (1943): 151).

[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 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). It is unclear when Frank Caro, C. T. Loo’s associate and successor to C. T. Loo & Company, purchased items from Zhang Mei Chien.

[4] J. T. Tai & Company stock record no. YT-1112, “1 jade piece,” included on invoice addressed to Dr. Arthur M. Sackler, dated 5/15/63, copy provided by the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation on October 9, 2009. Copy located in object file, full copy in FǀS provenance files in COM office.

[5] See note 4.

[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
Zhang Mei Chien 1900-1998
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987
C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948
J.T. Tai & Co. established in 1950

Published References
  • et al. Asian Art in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Inaugural Gift. Washington, 1987. cat. 57a, p. 101.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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