As Early as 1928
Possibly discovered in Anyang, Honan Province, China. 
ZHANG Naiji (1899–1948), Shanghai, China then New York, NY 
1948 to around 1954
ZHANG Mei Chien (1901–c.1955), New York, NY inherited upon her husband’s death 
Around 1954 to 1961
C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York, NY likely purchased from ZHANG Mei Chien in New York, NY 
1961 to 1964
Frank Caro Chinese Art, New York, NY, mode of acquisition unknown 
1964 to 1987
Arthur M. Sackler, New York, NY purchased from Frank Caro Chinese Art, on August 27, 1964 in New York, NY 
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler on September 11, 1987 
 The object is published in Archaic Chinese Jades: Special Exhibition (Philadelphia: The University Museum, February 1940), cat. 160. Unlike the other objects included in this exhibition, the author does not specify an archeological provenance. The author does, however, identify it as a Shang piece; all other objects identified in the exhibition as Shang were reportedly excavated in Anyang. Excavations at Anyang began in 1928.
 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 archeological excavations (see: Alfred Salmony, Chinese Jade through the Wei Dynasty. New York: The Ronald Press Company, 1963: 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 Archeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (see: letter, C. T. Loo to Horace Jayne, 25 October 1939 and letter, from C. T. Loo to Horace Jayne, 16 December 1939), copies in FǀS COM provenance files. The exhibition was entirely organized by C. T. Loo & 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 & Company had the collection on consignment (see: letter, from C. T. Loo to Horace Jayne, 28 May 1939 and letter, from C. T. Loo to Horace Jayne, 23 October 1940, copies on COM provenance files). C. T. Loo & 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.”
 ZHANG Mei Chien, Zhang Naiji’s wife, assumed ownership upon his death in 1948. She sold several pieces to Frank Caro, C. T. Loo’s associate and successor to C. T. Loo & Company. Date of sale unknown.
 On September 1, 1952, C. T. Loo’s associate, Frank Caro (1904-1980) took over daily operations of the New York business, operating at 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. C. T. Loo Chinese Art kept the same stock number that C. T. Loo & Company assigned it when consigning for ZHANG Naiji: J-15 (see note 2): “Jade mask pendants. Buffalo, translucent. Shang. Ht: 1-3/8” (plural pendants is likely a typo).” See invoice from Frank Caro, Chinese Art to Arthur M. Sackler, August 27, 1964, copy located in object file and full copy located in FǀS COM provenance files. See also: Arthur M. Sackler’s 1987 gift inventory, Collections Management Office.
 In 1961, Loo and Caro’s agreement ended. C. T. Loo & 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 invoice referenced in note 4.
 Pursuant to the agreement between 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.
- Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)
Zhang Naiji 1899-1948
Zhang Mei Chien 1900-1998
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987
C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948
J.T. Tai & Co. established in 1950
C.T. Loo Chinese Art 1953-1961
Frank Caro Chinese Art 1962-1980
Plaque, frontal animal mask; low relief details in raised lines; pierced center; translucent, cloudy light green. (Interior cracks [crystalline condition, incipient calcification].)
- Published References
- J. Keith Wilson, Jingmin Zhang. Jades for Life and Death. .
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
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