Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Jade (nephrite)
H x W x D: 4.8 x 1.5 x 0.6 cm (1 7/8 x 5/8 x 1/4 in)
Jewelry and Ornament
Shou xian, purportedly found at Anhui province, China
475-221 BCE
Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period
Between 1931 and 1932
Purportedly discovered in tomb located in Shou xian, Anhui province, China [1]
To 1948
Zhang Naiji (1899–1948), Shanghai, China, then New York, NY [2]
1948 to 1954
Zhang Mei Chien (1901–ca. 1955), New York, NY, inherited upon her husband’s death [3]
1954 to 1963
J. T. Tai and Company, New York, NY, purchased from Zhang Mei Chien in July 1954 in New York, NY [4]
1963 to 1987
Arthur M. Sackler, New York, NY, purchased from J. T. Tai and Company on May 15, 1963, in New York, NY [5]
From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Dr. Arthur M. Sackler on September 11, 1987 [6]
[1] Object published in Archaic Chinese Jades: Special Exhibition, February 1940 (Philadelphia: The University Museum, 1940), cat. 155. Catalogue entry notes discovery site as Shou hsien (now known as Shou xian), 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 archaeological excavations (see Alfred Salmony, Chinese Jade through the Wei Dynasty [New York: The Ronald Press Company], 1963, p. 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 Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (see letter from C. T. Loo to Horace Jayne, October 25, 1939, and letter from C. T. Loo to Horace Jayne, December 16, 1939), copies in Freer and Sackler COM provenance files. The exhibition was entirely organized by C. T. Loo and 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 and Company had the collection on consignment (see letter from C. T. Loo to Horace Jayne, May 28, 1939, and letter from C. T. Loo to Horace Jayne, October 23, 1940, copies in COM provenance files). C. T. Loo and 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 J. T. Tai and Company in July 1954 (for example, see J. T. Tai and Company Stock
Record YT 886 and YT 895, copies in COM provenance files).
[4] J. T. Tai and Company, New York stock record YT 627, 1 jade piece, included on invoice from J. T. Tai and
Company to Dr. Arthur M. Sackler, May 15, 1963, copy located in object file.
[5] See note 4.
[6] Pursuant to the agreement between Dr. Arthur M. Sackler and the Smithsonian Institution dated July 28, 1982, legal title of the donated objects was transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on September 11, 1987.
Arthur M. Sackler Collection
Exhibition History:
Gallery Installation, Elvehjem Museum of Art, Madison, Wisconsin (September 1, 1991 to January 5, 1992)
Chinese Bronzes from the Sackler Collection (November 19 to December 30, 1989)
Archaic Chinese Jades, Special Exhibition (February 1940)
Previous custodian or owner:
Zhang Naiji 張乃驥 (1899-1948)
Zhang Mei Chien (1900-1998)
J. T. Tai & Co. (established in 1950)
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987)
Eastern Zhou dynasty (770 - 221 BCE)  Search this
Warring States period (475 - 221 BCE)  Search this
China  Search this
Chinese Art  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Accession Number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
Related Online Resources:
Google Cultural Institute
See more items in:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery