Dragon-shaped pendant

Historical period(s)
Eastern Zhou dynasty, 5th-4th century BCE
Medium
Jade
Dimensions
H x W x D: 7.9 x 2.3 x 0.3 cm (3 1/8 x 7/8 x 1/8 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1987.644
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

1938 to 1932
Unearthed in Honan Province of China [1]

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

1948 to no later than 1950
Zhang Mei Chien (1901–c.1955), New York, NY inherited upon her husband’s death [3]

By 1950 to 1953
C. T. Loo INC., New York, NY likely purchased from Zhang Mei Chien in New York [4]

1953 to 1961
C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York, NY by transfer from C. T. Loo INC, New York [5]

1961 to 1964
Frank Caro Chinese Art, New York, NY mode of acquisition unknown [6]

From 1964 to 1987
Arthur M. Sackler, New York, NY purchased from Frank Caro Chinese Art on August 27, 1964 in New York, NY [7]

From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler on September 11, 1987 [8]

Notes:

[1] The object is published in An Exhibition of Chinese Archaic Jades (Norton Gallery of Art, West Palm Beach, FL, January 20 – March 1, 1950) plate LV, cat. 2 or cat. 4. The introduction suggests that the objects primarily came from archeological sites that were unearthed between 1928 and 1932, including: Anyang, Jincun, and Shou Hsien.

[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 C. T. Loo & Company and J. T. Tai & Company. J. T. Tai & Company purchased jades in July of 1954. 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] See C. T. Loo INC, An Exhibition of Chinese Archaic Jades (Norton Gallery of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida, January 20 – March 1, 1950), Plate LV, cat. 2 or 4 (ill).

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

[6] See invoice, August 27, 1964, Frank Caro Chinese Art to Arthur M. Sackler, “J-55: Archaic jade, pendent in form of curved dragon,” copy in object file. 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).

[7] Arthur M. Sackler purchased the object on August 27, 1964 (see note 5).

[8] 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, INC. ca. 1948-no later than July 1953
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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