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Catalog Data

Gold foil
H x W (largest): 18 x 13 cm (7 1/16 x 5 1/8 in)
Jewelry and Ornament
Probably Henan province, China
6th-5th century BCE
Eastern Zhou dynasty
Previous custodian or owner:
Abel William Bahr (1877-1959)
Edna H. Bahr (died 1978)
Dr. Paul Singer (1904-1997)
To 1959
Abel William Bahr (1877-1959), Ridgefield, Connecticut [1]
From 1959 to 1960
Edna H. Bahr (d. 1978), by descent from her father, Abel William Bahr
From 1960 to 1997
Paul Singer (1904-1997), Summit, New Jersey, purchased from Edna H. Bahr in 1960 [3]
From 1997
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, bequeathed by Paul Singer [4]
[1] Paul Singer’s acquisition of these fragments of gold foil ornamentations from Edna Bahr, the daughter of Abel W. Bahr, was mentioned in Singer’s correspondence with Henry Trubner and Zheng Dekun, see letter from Trubner to Singer, dated June 21, 1960 and letter from Zheng Dekun to Singer, dated 24 July, 1960, Paul Singer Papers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. The collector Abel W. Bahr was born in Shanghai and lived in China until about 1911, when he moved first to London, then to New York, Montreal, and eventually Ridgefield, Connecticut.
[2] See note 1.
[3] See note 1. Singer discussed the circumstances of the fragments’ acquisition from the Bahr collection 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. 106-108. The fragments were reproduced in a catalogue of the exhibition organized by Paul Singer in 1972, see Early Chinese Gold and Silver (New York: China Institute in America, 1972), cat. 5 (ill.). The collection of Chinese art and antiquities assembled by Paul Singer over time 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] 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.
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Eastern Zhou dynasty (770 - 221 BCE)  Search this
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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
Accession Number:
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Related Online Resources:
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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