Cylindrical bead

Historical period(s)
Late Neolithic period, ca. 3000-1700 BCE
Jade (nephrite)
H x W x D: 4.9 × 1.5 × 1.2 cm (1 15/16 × 9/16 × 1/2 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Jade, Jewelry and Ornament


China, Late Neolithic period (ca. 5000 - ca. 1700 BCE)

Reportedly excavated in Anhui province, China [1]

From at least 1929 to 1941
Mrs. Christian R. Holmes (1871-1941), New York and "The Chimneys," Sands Point, Port Washington, Long Island, from at least 1929 [2]

From 1941 to 1963
Holmes Foundation, New York [3]

Sale, New York, Parke-Bernet Galleries, Important Chinese Art: Early Dynastic Bronzes, Silver and Gold...Collected by the Late Mrs. Christian R. Holmes, New York, Sold by the Order of the Holmes Foundation, November 14-15, 1963, lot 207 (ill.): "Fifteen Pale Green Jade Tomb Amulets."

From 1963 to 1965
J. T. Tai & Co., New York, New York, purchased at Sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, Important Chinese Art..., November 14-15, 1963 [4]

From 1965 to 1987
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), New York, purchased from J. T. Tai & Co., New York, New York, in 1965 [5]

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


[1] The jade and 14 other jade beads, S1987.935.1-15, were said to have been found inside the bronze you, S1987.968a-b, at the time it was excavated, see Royal Academy of Arts, International Exhibition of Chinese Art, exh. cat. (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1935-36), cat. 233. See also provenance record for S1987.968a-b.

[2] The bronze with which the jades were reportedly excavated was in the possession of Mrs. Holmes from at least 1929, see provenance record for S1987.968a-b.

[3] Mrs. Holmes had established the Holmes Foundation to continue her charity work after her death.

[4] See Joan Marcia Hartman, “America,” Oriental Art 10, 1 (Spring 1964), p. 46.

[5] According to information included in a document “Arthur M. Sackler Gift, Chinese Jades: Summary,” provided by Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, October 2009, 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) and Custodian(s)

Parke-Bernet Galleries
Holmes Foundation
Mrs. Christian R. Holmes 1871-1941
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987
J.T. Tai & Co. established in 1950

Published References
  • J. Keith Wilson, Jingmin Zhang. Jades for Life and Death. .
  • Sueji Umehara. Shina-kodo Seikwa [Selected Relics of Ancient Chinese Bronzes from Collections in Europe and America]. Osaka, 1933. cat. 73.
  • Chinese Bronzes of the Shang (1766-1122 B.C.) Through the T’ang Dynasty (A.D. 618-906). Exh. cat. New York, 1938. cat. 105.
  • Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Chinese Art 1935-1936. Exh. cat. London, 1935. cat. 233.
  • A loan exhibition of early Chinese art treasures: for the benefit of Chinese civilian war victims. Exh. cat. New York, 1938. p. 19.
  • Important Chinese Art: Early Dynastic Bronzes, Silver and Gold. New York, 1963. p. 40.
  • Joan Marcia Hartman. At the Sales: America. vol. 10, no. 1, Spring 1964. p. 46.
  • Jessica Rawson. Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing. London, 1995. p. 239, fig. 2.
  • Robert W. Bagley. Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections: Volume 1 of Ancient Chinese Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections. vol. 1, Washington and Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1987. p. 373.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
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