1928 to 1929
Likely Discovered in tomb located in in Jincun, Honan Provence, China. 
Zhang Naiji (1899–1948), Shanghai, China then New York, NY 
1948 to around 1954
Zhang Mei Chien (1901–c.1955), New York, NY inherited upon her husband’s death 
Possibly around 1954 to 1961
C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York, NY likely purchased from Zhang Mei Chien in New York, NY 
Possibly from 1961 to 1964
Frank Caro Chinese Art, New York, NY, mode of acquisition unknown 
Possibly from around 1954 to 1960s
J. T. Tai & Company, New York, NY possibly purchased from Zhang Mei Chien in New York, NY 
At least by 1986 to 1987
Arthur M. Sackler, New York, purchased from either C. T. Loo& Company or J. T. Tai & Company during the mid-1960s in New York, NY 
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler on September 1, 1987 
 Discovery site noted as Chin ts’un (now known as Juncun), see: Archaic Chinese Jades: Special Exhibition (Philadelphia: The University Museum, February 1940), cat. 116. 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).
 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.”
 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 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). It is unclear when C. T. Loo Chinese Art purchased items from Zhang Mei Chien. C. T. Loo Chinese Art was led by Frank Caro, the famed dealer C. T. Loo’s associate.
 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.
 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 acquired several ancient jades from C. T. Loo Chinese Art and sold them to Dr. Sackler in the 1960s (for example, see: S1987.668 and S1987.644).
 J. T. Tai & Company sold several jades from Zhang’s collection to Arthur M. Sackler (for example, see: S1987.653 and S 1987.607). Several of J. T. Tai & Company stock records also document the company’s sales of Zhang jades to Arthur M. Sackler (for example, see J. T. Tai & Company Stock Record YT 886 and YT 895, copies in COM provenance files).
 This object was part of Arthur M. Sackler’s original gift to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. The date of his acquisition is unknown, but he purchased several ancient jades from C. T. Loo & Company and J. T. Tai & Company throughout the 1960s. Arthur M. Sackler’s accession number for this object was J- 1034 and it was included in the 1986 inventory of the collection.
 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) and Custodian(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
C.T. Loo Chinese Art 1953 - 1961
Frank Caro Chinese Art 1962-1980
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
- SI Usage Statement
Usage Conditions Apply
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)
Usage Conditions Apply
Internet Explorer users: right click on icon, select "save target as..."
Mozilla Firefox users: right click on icon, select "save link as..."