Tomb guardian creature [pair with S1997.25]

citation

Historical period(s)
Tang dynasty, ca. 700-740
Medium
Lead-glazed earthenware
Dimensions
H x W x D: 98 x 32.6 x 31.5 cm (38 9/16 x 12 13/16 x 12 3/8 in)
Geography
China, Henan or Shaanxi province
Credit Line
Gift of the Else Sackler Foundation
Accession Number
S1997.24
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Sculpture
Type

Tomb figure: tomb guardian

Keywords
China, earthenware, Tang dynasty (618 - 907), tomb, tomb guardian, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To 1965
J. T. Tai & Co., New York, New York. [1]

From 1965 1987
Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), New York, New York, purchased from J. T. Tai & Co., New York, New York. [2]

From 1987 to 1996
Estate of Arthur M. Sackler. [3]

From 1996 to 1997
Else Jorgensen Sackler (1913-2000), by inheritance from the Estate of Arthur M. Sackler. [4]

1997
The Else Sackler Foundation, New York, New York, gift of Else Jorgensen Sackler. [5]

From 1997
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of the Else Sackler Foundation, New York, New York. [6]

Notes:

[1] See Provenance record from the Else Sackler Foundation faxed on March 31, 1997, copies in object file. J.T. Dealer No. YT-4861.

[2] See object file.

[3] See note 3.

[4] Else Sackler received the object from the Estate of Arthur M. Sackler in 1996. See Provenance record from the Else Sackler Foundation faxed on March 31, 1997, copy in object file.

[5] The object was gifted to the Else Sackler Foundation by Else Sackler in 1997. See Provenance record from the Else Sackler Foundation faxed on March 31, 1997, copy in object file.

[6] See Acquisition Consideration Form and the Deed of Gift, copies in object file.

Previous Owner(s)

The Arthur M. Sackler Collections Trust
Mrs. Else Sackler 1913 - 2000
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987
The Else Sackler Foundation
J. T. Tai & Co. established in 1950

Label

Fearsome composite creatures such as these are among the most admired objects from the Tang dynasty (618–907). With grimacing human or bestial faces, wings, and flaming manes, these fantastic creatures were made as guardians for the tombs of princes and high-ranking nobles to ward off evil forces. The random patterns created by running glazes in cream, brown, and green, a dramatic effect deliberately exploited by Tang potters, further accentuate their energy and power.

Published References
  • Thomas Lawton Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. pp. 228-231.
  • William Watson. Tang and Liao Ceramics. New York, 1984. pp. 205-210.
  • Ancient Mortuary Traditions of China: Papers of Chinese Ceramic Funerary Sculptures. Honolulu. pp. 84-93.
  • James T. Ulak. A Decade of Remarkable Growth: Acquisitions by the Freer and Sackler Galleries. vol. 166 no. 548 London, 2007. p. 40.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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