Pendant in the form of a buffalo head

Historical period(s)
Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1300-ca. 1050 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions
H x W x D (overall): 3.2 x 2.4 x 1.8 cm (1 1/4 x 15/16 x 11/16 in)
Geography
China, probably Henan province, Anyang
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
S2012.9.328
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Jade, Jewelry and Ornament
Type

Pendant

Keywords
Anyang period (ca. 1300 - ca. 1050 BCE), buffalo, carving, China, nephrite, Paul Singer collection
Provenance

As early as 1928
Likely discovered in Anyang, Honan Province, China. [1]

By 1935 to 1948
Naiji Zhang (1899–1948), Shanghai, China then New York, NY [2]

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

Around 1954 to 1958
C. T. Loo Chinese Art, NY likely purchased from Mei Chien Zhang in New York, NY [4]

From 1958 to 1997
Paul Singer, Summit, New Jersey, purchased from C. T. Loo Chinese Art on August 26, 1958 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 a loan agreement between the Gallery and the Executors of the Singer Estate in February 1997 [6]

From 1997
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Art, gift of 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] Object published in “An Exhibition of Chinese Archaic Jades,” Norton Gallery of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida, January 20 to March 1, 1950, Plate X, image 5, and dated to the Yin-Chou period, which the author links to the early or “pre-Chou” period. In an earlier publication that presented objects owned by the same collector, Naiji Zhang, (see note 2), the author notes that Yin-Chou corresponds to the “Early Western Chou” period and objects dating to this period were mostly unearthed in archeological sites at Anyang, Honan Province, China (see: “Archaic Chinese Jades, Special Exhibition,” The University Museum, Philadelphia, February 1940, page7-9). Excavations at Anyang began in 1928.

[2] Naiji Zhang (also known as N.C. Chang) lent the object to the International Exhibition of Chinese Art in London in 1935, see Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Chinese Art (London, Royal Academy of Arts, November 28, 1935 - March 7, 1936), cat. 281 (mistakenly identified as a glass bead). Naiji Zhang 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.).It is likely that Zhang acquired this object as early as 1928, however there is documentary proof that he owned the object in 1935.

Zhang lent 45 objects to the International Exhibition of Chinese Art and it is likely that these objects remained in his possession after the exhibition. At least 11 of the jades that Zhang lent to this exhibition came with him when he moved to New York in 1938 and were ultimately sold through C. T. Loo & Company (three of which are in the collection of the FǀS: S2012.9.328; S1987.597; and RLS1997.48.4374). There is no evidence to suggest that Zhang sold any of his jades during the European exhibition.

C. T. Loo & Company, New York, NY had Zhang’s jade 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) from 1940 through Zhang’s death in 1948, inventorying the pieces with a prefix “J” and labeling each item as “Chang Collection.”

[3] Mei Chien Zhang, Naiji Zhang’s wife, assumed ownership upon his death in 1948. She sold several pieces to Frank Caro, C. T. Loo’s associate and successor to C. T. Loo & Company. Date of sale unknown.

[4] 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.

See C. T. Loo & Company, then C. T. Loo Chinese Art stock card no. J 29, which notes the sale to Dr. Singer on August 26, 1958, copy in object file.

[5] See note 4. 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] Upon Paul Singers death in January 1997, his collection came into the custody of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. A loan agreement between the executors of the estate and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery was signed in 2/1997.

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

Previous Owner(s)

Zhang Naiji 1899-1948
Zhang Mei Chien 1900-1998
Dr. Paul Singer 1904-1997
C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948
C.T. Loo Chinese Art 1953 - 1961

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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