Historical period(s)
Western Han dynasty, 2nd century BCE
Medium
Lacquer
Dimensions
H x W x D (overall): 5.2 x 16.3 x 12.8 cm (2 1/16 x 6 7/16 x 5 1/16 in)
Geography
China
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
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S2012.9.1591
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Lacquer
Type

Ear cup

Keywords
China, Paul Singer collection, Western Han dynasty (206 BCE - 9 CE)
Provenance

1935 to 1937
Likely unearthed in Changsha, Honan Province, China [1]

1946 to 1948
C. T. Loo & Company, New York acquired from an unknown source in December 1946 [2]

1948 to 1953
C. T. Loo, INC., New York by transfer from C. T. Loo & Company, New York [3]

1953 to 1954
C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York by transfer from C. T. Loo, INC. no later than summer of 1953 [4]

1954 to 1997
Dr. Paul Singer, Summit, NJ purchased from C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York on July 6, 1954 in New York, NY [5]

1997 to 1999
In the custody of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, upon Paul Singer’s death in January 1997 and a loan agreement between the Executors of the Singer Estate and the Gallery 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]

Notes:

[1] According to John Hadley Cox, excavations at Changsha began during the construction of the Changsha Municipal Center, the majority of which occurred during his residency in Changsha from 1935 to 1937. See: An Exhibition of Chinese Antiquities from Ch’ang-Sha, lent by John Hadley Cox, Gallery of Fine Arts, Yale University, New Haven, CT (March 26 – May 7, 1939). See also: invoice from C. T. Loo Chinese Art to Dr. Paul Singer, July 6, 1954, copy in object file.

[2] See invoice referenced in note 1. Object described as D 6429: “Lacquer face cup, oval shape, with ear shaped handles. Decorated on the lip rim, with stylized designs in red on dark brown background. Reddish brown inside. Inscribed – from Changsha. Late Chou.” See also C. T. Loo & Company stock card, original stock number scratched out, likely reads “86322” and replaced with “D 6429,” copy in object file. Stock card notes, “Dec. 46” at the top of the card and notes it was sold to Dr. Singer in July 1954.

[3] C. T. Loo formed C. T. Loo, INC. in 1948 when C. T. Loo & Company could no longer access trade in China. 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.
[4] See note 3.

[5] See invoice referenced in note 1. The collection of Chinese art and antiquities assembled by Paul Singer was purchased by him on behalf of Arthur M. Sackler, Jillian Sackler, the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, the AMS Foundation for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities and later was transferred to the children of Arthur M. Sackler.

[6] The Dr. Paul Singer Collection of Chinese Art came into the custody of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, upon Paul Singer’s death in January 1997 and a loan agreement between the Executors of the Singer Estate and the Gallery in February 1997.

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

Previous Owner(s)

Dr. Paul Singer 1904-1997
C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948
C.T. Loo, INC. ca. 1948-no later than July 1953
C.T. Loo Chinese Art 1953 - 1961

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