• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2268

    Fine Chinese Art from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections

    18 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 272

    TWO ALTERED JADE TAOTIE MASK NECKLACE CLOSING DEVICES

    LATE SHANG/EARLY WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY, CIRCA 1200-1100 BC

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    TWO ALTERED JADE TAOTIE MASK NECKLACE CLOSING DEVICES
    LATE SHANG/EARLY WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY, CIRCA 1200-1100 BC
    The smaller carved in low relief with a broad horizontal snout, striated brows above the eyes and a groove above the conical hole and between the horns, the back flat, the grey-green stone now opaque and of buff color; the larger flat mask carved in semi-thread relief with slanted eyes flanking the large nose, small ears and a pair of upright bottle horns flanking a chevron-carved crest above the conical hole; together with an altered grey-green jade coiled dragon pendant, Shang dynasty, with a slit between the jaws and the tail leading to the central conical aperture, the open mouth with serrated edge and the curved spine with notched flanges, with double grooves delineating the eyes, ear and scrolls on the body
    1¼ and 1¾ in. (3.2, 4.4 cm.) high, 2 in. (5.1 cm.) diam. (3)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Compare the smaller of the two taotie mask-form necklace closing devices to one of similar shape and with similar rolled snout excavated from a Western Zhou tomb at Shangguo, Wenxi, Shanxi province, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Jades Unearthed in China - 3 - Shanxi, Beijing, 2005, p. 143. The larger may be compared to one included in the exhibition, Archaic Chinese Jades, University Museum, Philadelphia, 1940, pl. XII, no. 231.

    Provenance

    Smaller taotie: G.L. Winthrop Collection, New York.
    C.T. Loo & Co., Paris.
    Frank Caro, New York, 1964.
    Larger taotie: J.T. Tai & Co., New York, prior to 1966.
    Dragon pendant: acquired prior to 1966.


    Literature

    Smaller taotie mask: A. Salmony, Carved Jade of Ancient China, Berkeley, 1938, pl. XLVII (4).


    Exhibited

    Smaller taotie mask: An Exhibition of Chinese Archaic Jades, C.T. Loo & Co. at Norton Gallery of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida, February 1950, pl. LVI, no. 3.