Candleholder

Historical period(s)
Southern Dynasties period, Period of Division, ca. 500
Medium
Stoneware with celadon glaze
Dimensions
H x Diam (overall): 18 x 12.5 cm (7 1/16 x 4 15/16 in)
Geography
China, Fujian province
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
S2012.9.3625
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Furniture and Furnishing
Type

Candleholder

Keywords
China, Paul Singer collection, Southern dynasties (317 - 589)
Provenance

Around 1935 to 1960
Reportedly unearthed near the Nantai kiln site in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China under the supervision of James Marshall Plumer (1899-1960), Ann Arbor, MI and incorporated into his private collection [1]

1960 to around 1968
Caroline (Carol) L. Plumer (1901--1995) inherited upon the death of her husband on June 15, 1960 [2]

Around 1968 to 1997
Dr. Paul Singer, Summit, NJ likely purchased from Caroline L. Plumer through Frank Caro Co. Chinese Art, New York, NY [3]

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 [4]

From 1999
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, figt of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, Paul Singer, the AMS Foundation for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, and the Children of Arthur M. Sackler [5]

Notes:

[1] See drafted catalogue of The Paul Singer Collection, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. See also: Fujio Koyama and Jiro Harada, "Yüeh-Chou Yao Celadon Excavated in Japan," Artibus Asiae, Vol. 14, No.1/2 (1951), p.31 (object not pictured). James Marshall Plumber discovered the Yüeh-chou celadon kiln-sites at Nan-t'ai (now known as Nantai) around 1935. Plumer likely incorporated the object into his collection shortly after its discovery. The object remained in his collection until his death.

[2] Caroline Plumer managed the dispersal of her husband's collection, working extensively with Frank Caro, the successor to C. T. Loo & Company, New York, NY (later operating as Frank Caro Co. Chinese Art). Around 1962 to possibly as late as 1970, Frank Caro held pieces from James Marshall Plumer's collection on consignment (see letters from L. O. West of the Freer Gallery of Art to Mr. Frank Caro, April 12, 1962, in object file F1974.121, Collections Management Office). Frank Caro inventoried the Plumer's collection and created stock cards for each object; each is inventoried with the "CP" or "JCP" prefix. This piece was inventoried as "CP 319" (the "CP" could be a typing error, as "JCP" is the more common lettering).

[3] According to the 1973 exhibition catalogue accompanying the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston's "Unearthing China's Past," this object is part of a group of four burial ceramics that were discovered or purchased in Fuzhou by James Marshall Plumer. This group has been exhibited together in in 1952 at the Los Angeles County Museum as part of "Chinese Ceramics: From the Prehistoric Period Through Ch'en Lung" (1952) and again at The Detroit Institute of Arts' "James Marshall Plumer Collection of Oriental Art, A Memorial Exhibition" (1962). However, this candleholder is not pictured or referenced in either exhibition.

All four burial ceramics, pictured in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston catalogue are in the museum's collection (see: RLS1997.48.1674a-b; RLS1997.48.1670; and RLS1997.48.1681). A receipt, from Frank Caro Chinese Art, survives documenting Singer's purchase of RLS1997.48.1674a-b on December 3, 1968 (see object file for RLS1997.48.1674a-b). It is likely that Dr. Singer purchased this candleholder around the same time, as he regularly purchased groups of objects with matching provenances.

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.

[4] 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.

[5] 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)

James Marshall Plumer 1899-1960
Caroline L. Plumer 1901-1995
Dr. Paul Singer 1904-1997
Frank Caro Chinese Art 1962-1980

Published References
  • Jan Fontein, Wu Tung. Unearthing China's Past. Exh. cat. Boston. fig. 67d.
  • J. Keith Wilson. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: New Collections, The Singer Collection. 43, 7., October 2012. p. 59.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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