Pendant in the form of a turtle

Pendant; turtle, carved in round; no decoration; pierced at shoulder; translucent green. (Mostly calcified; much surface damage; pits, worn; feet one side, tail chipped off; red deposit.)

(Jenny F. So, October 17, 1996) The large smooth shell, marked by a low central ridge, dominates this sculpture of a turtle. Turning slightly to one side, the creature’s head shows round eyes in low relief. Its feet emerge from under the shell asymmetrically, as if it is in motion; those on one side are damaged. A small hole is drilled at the base of the neck on one side.

Historical period(s)
Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1300-ca. 1050 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 3.4 × 5 × 1.2 cm (1 5/16 × 1 15/16 × 1/2 in)
Geography
China, probably Henan province, Anyang
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1987.638
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, nephrite, turtle, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

Alfred F. Pillsbury, Minneapolis, MN [1]
By 1958 to 1961
C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York, NY, mode of acquisition known [2]

1962 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 in New York City on August 27, 1964 [4]

From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler on September 11, 1987 [5]

Notes:

[1] In 1939, Alfred F. Pillsbury of Minneapolis loaned the object to the Arden Gallery; see 3000 Years of Chinese Jade exh. cat. (New York: Arden Gallery, January 10 – February 11,1939), no. 103 (ill).

[2] In 1958, C. T. Loo Chinese Art lent the object to the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, CT; See 4000 Years of Chinese Art: An Exhibition Organized and Lent by C. T. Loo exh. cat. Wadsworth Atheneum (October 17 to November 30, 1958), no. 32.

On September 1, 1952, C. T. Loo’s associate, Frank Caro (1904-1980) took over daily operations of C. T. Loo’s New York business C. T. Loo, INC. This company 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.

[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). Frank Caro Chinese Art stock no. FC-2391: "Archaic jade turtle, greenish grey jade, traces of cinnabar," see invoice from Frank Caro Chinese Art to Arthur M. Sackler, August 27, 1964, copy in object file.

[4] See 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)

Alfred Fiske Pillsbury 1876-1950
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987
C.T. Loo Chinese Art 1953 - 1961
Frank Caro Chinese Art 1962-1980

Description

Pendant; turtle, carved in round; no decoration; pierced at shoulder; translucent green. (Mostly calcified; much surface damage; pits, worn; feet one side, tail chipped off; red deposit.)

(Jenny F. So, October 17, 1996) The large smooth shell, marked by a low central ridge, dominates this sculpture of a turtle. Turning slightly to one side, the creature's head shows round eyes in low relief. Its feet emerge from under the shell asymmetrically, as if it is in motion; those on one side are damaged. A small hole is drilled at the base of the neck on one side.

Published References
  • J. Keith Wilson, Jingmin Zhang. Jades for Life and Death. .
  • Chinese Jade Animals. Exh. cat. Hong Kong. cat. 12.
  • 4000 Years of Chinese Art: An Exhibition Organized and Lent by C.T. Loo. Exh. cat. Hartford, Connecticut. cat. 32.
  • John Johnston, Chan Lai Pik. 5000 Years of Chinese Jade. Exh. cat. San Antonio, Texas, 2011. cat. 19, p. 54.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
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