Fitting with masks (taotie)

Ornamental carving in high and low relief slightly damaged at top apparently by calcination.

Historical period(s)
Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1250-ca. 1050 BCE
H x W x D: 8.6 × 5.1 × 2.3 cm (3 3/8 × 2 × 7/8 in)
China, probably Henan province, Anyang
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Sackler Gallery 24b: Anyang: China's Ancient City of Kings
Jewelry and Ornament, Stone

Ornament with relief decoration

Anyang period (ca. 1300 - ca. 1050 BCE), China

From at least 1948
F. Low-Beer & Co., New York, N.Y., from at least January 1948 [1]

From October 1948
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Fritz Low-Beer (1906-1976) on October 26, 1948 [2]


[1] Fritz Low-Beer mentioned the carving in his correspondence with John A. Pope, Assistant Director, Freer Gallery of Art, see F. Low-Beer to J. A. Pope, January 8, 1948. The object was shipped to the Freer Gallery of Art for acquisition consideration on February 2, 1948, and approved for purchase next month, see R. W. Edwards to F. Low-Beer, February 2, 1948, and the document confirming the examination of the object and approval by the Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, the Commission of Fine Arts, and Katherine Rhoades, dated March 24, 1948, copy in object file.

[2] See Low-Beer’s invoice, dated October 26, 1948, where the object is listed as “Marble carving with T’ao t’ie decoration. Said to come from Anyang (Honan). Shang,” copy in object file.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Fritz Low-Beer 1906-1976


Ornamental carving in high and low relief slightly damaged at top apparently by calcination.

Published References
  • J. Keith Wilson, Jingmin Zhang. Jades for Life and Death. .
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
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