Pendant in the form of a ring

Historical period(s)
Eastern Zhou dynasty, 475-221 BCE
H x Diam (overall): 0.5 x 3.9 cm (3/16 x 1 9/16 in)
China, purportedly found at Anhui province, Shou xian
Credit Line
The Dr. Paul Singer Collection of Chinese Art of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; a joint gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, Paul Singer, the AMS Foundation for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, and the Children of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


China, Eastern Zhou dynasty (770 - 221 BCE), Paul Singer collection, ring, Warring States period (475 - 221 BCE)

1931 to 1932
Likely discovered in tomb located in Shouxian, Anhwei Province, China [1]

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

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

1954 to 1958
J. T. Tai & Company, New York, NY likely purchased from Zhang Mei Chien during July 1954 in New York, NY [4]

1958 to 1997
Dr. Paul Singer, Summit, NJ, purchased from J. T. Tai & Company on 8/26/58 in New York, NY [5]

From 1997 to 1999
In the custody of Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, upon Paul Singer’s death in January 1997 and loan agreement in February 1997 [6]

From 1999
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, Paul Singer, the AMS Foundation for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, and the Children of Arthur M. Sackler [7]


[1] Object published in Archaic Chinese Jades: Special Exhibition (Philadelphia: The University Museum, February 1940), cat. 244. Catalogue entry notes discovery site as Shou-hsien (now known as Shouxian), where tombs were exposed between 1931 and 1932. During this period the tombs were never properly excavated.

[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 both C. T. Loo & Company (which later operated as Frank Caro Chinese Art) 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).

[4] See note 3. Sales Slip from J. T. Tai & Company to Dr. Paul Singer, 8/26/58, includes an object identified as YT 1071, copy located in object file, original copy located in FǀS Archives, Paul Singer Papers, box 17, folder 17.

In Paul Singer’s memoirs, he reports that he acquired 17 “of the Chiang Nai-chi jades, some of which Mr. Chang lent to the 1935-1936 International Exhibition of Chinese Art,” from J. T. Tai & Company. It is likely that this object was one of those 17 jades. See: Reminiscences of a Transient Custodian,” ms. Paul Singer Papers, FǀS Archives, p.83-84.

[5] See note 4. The collection of Chinese art and antiquities assembled by Paul Singer over time was purchased by him on behalf of Arthur M. Sackler, Jullian Sackler, The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, the AMS Foundation for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities and was later transferred to the children of Arthur M. Sackler.

[6] When Paul Singer’s died in January 1997 and loan agreement in February 1997, the Dr. Paul Singer Collection of Chinese Art came into the custody of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

[7] See “The Dr. Paul Singer Collection of Chinese Art Gift Agreement,” March 1999, FǀS COM Office. The object was formally accessioned into the museum collection in 2012.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Zhang Naiji 1899-1948
Zhang Mei Chien 1900-1998
Dr. Paul Singer 1904-1997
C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948
J.T. Tai & Co. established in 1950

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Related Objects