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Catalog Data

Jade (nephrite) with traces of cinnabar
H x W x D: 5 x 3.4 x 1.2 cm (1 15/16 x 1 5/16 x 1/2 in)
Jewelry and Ornament
ca. 600-476 BCE
Eastern Zhou dynasty, Spring and Autumn period
As Early as 1928
Purportedly discovered in Henan province, Anyang [1]
To 1948
Zhang Naiji (1899–1948), Shanghai, China, then New York, NY [2]
1948 to around 1954
Zhang Mei Chien (1901–ca. 1955), New York, NY, inherited upon her husband’s death [3]
Around 1954 to 1961
C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York, NY, likely purchased from Zhang Mei Chien [4]
Around 1961 to 1964
Frank Caro Chinese Art, New York, NY, mode and date of acquisition unknown [5]
1964 to 1987
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler, New York, NY, purchased from Frank Caro Chinese Art on August 27, 1964, in New York, NY [6]
From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Dr. Arthur M. Sackler on September 11, 1987 [7]
[1] Discovery site noted in Archaic Chinese Jades: Special Exhibition February 1940 (Philadelphia: The University Museum, 1940), cat. 28. Excavations at Anyang began in 1928. This discovery site is unlikely given the style of the object.
[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 on 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 [Zhang] 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). It is unclear when Frank Caro, C. T. Loo’s associate and successor to C. T. Loo and Company, purchased items from Zhang Mei Chien.
[4] On September 1, 1952, C. T. Loo’s associate, Frank Caro (1904–1980) took over daily operations of the New York business, operating 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.
[5] In 1961, Loo and Caro’s agreement ended. C. T. Loo and Cie., Paris, France, took control of C. T. Loo Chinese Art,
New York’s stock that C. T. Loo had added to the inventory before his death in 1957. Frank Caro then opened
Frank Caro Chinese Art. Caro acquired pieces from Loo’s original stock (the mode of acquisition is unknown). See Frank Caro Chinese Art invoice, August 27, 1964 (copy in object file) J 140: “Archaic jade miniature mask.
T’ao t’ieh [Taotie]. Eastern Chou [Zhou]. Height: 7 ins (Chang [Zhang] Collection).” This is the same stock number assigned to the object when C. T. Loo and Company had the object on consignment (see note 2).
[6] See invoice referenced in note 3.
[7] 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:
Archaic Chinese Jades, Special Exhibition (February 1940)
Previous custodian or owner:
Zhang Mei Chien (1900-1998)
Zhang Naiji 張乃驥 (1899-1948)
C.T. Loo Chinese Art (1953-1961)
Frank Caro Chinese Art (1962-1980)
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987)
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Eastern Zhou dynasty (770 - 221 BCE)  Search this
Spring and Autumn period (770 - 476 BCE)  Search this
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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
Jades for Life and Death
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