H x W x D: 3.4 × 2.5 × 0.6 cm (1 5/16 × 1 × 1/4 in)
Anyang, probably Henan province, China
ca. 1250-1050 BCE
Late Shang dynasty, Anyang period
From 1930s to ?
Fritz Bilfinger, purchased in China in the 1930s. 
From ? to 1997
Dr. Paul Singer (1904-1997), Summit, New Jersey, purchased from Fritz Bilfinger. 
From 1997 to 1999
In the custody of Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, DC 
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, Paul Singer, the AMS Foundation for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, and the Children of Dr. Arthur M. Sackler. 
 According to Qi Wenxin, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of History, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, “Singer acquired the oracle bones from Fritz Bilfinger, a Swiss citizen who was a representative of the Aluminum Company of Canada, while traveling in the Far East. Bilfinger purchased the oracle bones in China in the 1930s.” See “Singer Chinese Oracle Bones” document dated September 20, 2002 in the object record.
 See note 1.
 Between 1997 and 1999, The Dr. Paul Singer Collection of Chinese Art was in the custody of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington DC
 See “The Dr. Paul Singer Collection of Chinese Art Gift Agreement” from March 1999, Collections Management Office. The object was formally accessioned into the museum’s permanent collection in 2012. See Acquisition Consideration Form, object file, Collections Management Office.
Arthur M. Sackler Collection
Anyang: China's Ancient City of Kings (February 25, 2023 to April 28, 2024)
Previous custodian or owner:
Dr. and Mrs. Fritz Bilfinger
Dr. Paul Singer (1904-1997)
Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty (ca. 1300 - 1050 BCE) Search this
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