Chain with beads and clasp

Historical period(s)
Warring States period, Eastern Zhou dynasty, 475-221 BCE
Gold, jade (nephrite), amber, and turquoise
Length x Diam (overall): 70.3 x 4.4 cm (27 11/16 x 1 3/4 in)
China, Henan province, Jincun, Luoyang
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
Paul Singer collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Jewelry and Ornament, Metalwork


China, Eastern Zhou dynasty (770 - 221 BCE), nephrite, Paul Singer collection, plaited wire, wirework

About 1928
Reportedly excavated in Jincun, Henan Province in about 1928 [1]

From at least 1935 to probably late 1930s
Zhang Naiji (1899-1948), Shanghai [2]

From probably late 1930s to 1958
C. T. Loo & Co., New York, purchased from Zhang Naiji probably in the late 1930s [3]

From 1958 to 1997
Paul Singer (1904-1997), Summit, New Jersey, purchased from Frank Caro, C. T. Loo & Co. on March 24, 1958 [4]

From 1997
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, bequeathed by Paul Singer [5]


[1] According to Max Loehr, Relics of Ancient China (New York 1965), cat. 74 (ill.). See also Thomas Lawton, “Paul Singer – A Sage Among Collectors,” Orientations 31, 5 (May 2000), p. 38 (fig. 6), 39.

[2] Zhang Naiji 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. 349 (ill.). Zhang was a salt merchant born to a prestigious family in Zhejiang. He collected ancient Chinese art objects and Chinese coins.

[3] See C. T. Loo’s stockcard no. J-19: “Chang collection Loo Stock. Gold necklace with two jade beads and two decayed amber beads,” Frank Caro Archive, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, copy in object file. The necklace was photographed by Frank Caro and the negative is preserved in Frank Caro Archive, no. (6) CMSB 301-304. It is known that C. T. Loo acquired a number of objects from Zhang Naiji’s collection after the latter had left China in 1938. Loo exhibited the necklace in 1950, see C. T. Loo & Co., An Exhibition of Chinese Archaic Jades (West Palm Beach, Florida, Norton Gallery of Art, January 20-March 1, 1950), pl. 47, no. 2.

[4] See C. T. Loo’s stockcard no. J-19, cited in note 3. Paul Singer discussed the circumstances of the necklace’s acquisition from C. T. Loo & Co. in his memoirs completed in February 1993, see Paul Singer, “Reminiscences of a Transient Custodian,” ms., Paul Singer Papers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, p. 103-106. According to Singer’s account, he obtained the necklace in an exchange transaction with Frank Caro for a few objects acquired from Emmanuel Gran’s collection. The necklace was reproduced in a catalogue of the Singer collection published on occasion of the exhibition curated by Max Loehr in 1965, see M. Loehr, Relics of Ancient China (New York 1965), cat. 74 (ill.). The collection of Chinese art and antiquities assembled by Paul Singer over time was purchased by him on behalf of Arthur M. Sackler, The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, the AMS Foundation for the Arts, Sciences and Humanities, and later transferred to the children of Arthur M. Sackler.

[5] Upon Paul Singer’s death in January 1997, his collection was transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery by order of the Executors of the Estate under a loan agreement signed on February 1997. Shortly thereafter, the Sackler Gallery was vested with full ownership and title to the collection in full agreement by the Sackler Foundations and Sackler family members. The formal accession of the Singer collection was completed in 2012.

Previous Owner(s)

Zhang Naiji 1899-1948
Dr. Paul Singer 1904-1997

Published References
  • Janet Douglas W. Thomas Chase. Examination of Two Eastern Zhou Jade and Gold Assemblages from Jincun, near Luoyang, Henan Province, China: Implications for the Original Configuration of the Freer Pectoral
    . vol. 46, no. 1 London. pp. 35-48.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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