Pestle with handle in form of a monkey


Historical period(s)
Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1300-ca. 1050 BCE
H x W x D (overall): 16 x 3.8 x 2.7 cm (6 5/16 x 1 1/2 x 1 1/16 in)
China, probably Henan province, Anyang
Credit Line
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
Paul Singer collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Stone, Tool and Equipment


Anyang period (ca. 1300 - ca. 1050 BCE), China, monkey, Paul Singer collection, Shang dynasty (ca. 1600 - ca. 1050 BCE)

From at least 1939 to 1954
C. T. Loo & Co., New York, from at least January 1939 [1]

From 1954 to 1997
Paul Singer (1904-1997), Summit, New Jersey, purchased from C. T. Loo & Co. on June 8, 1954 [2]

From 1997
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, bequeathed by Paul Singer [3]


[1] The pestle was lent by C. T. Loo to an exhibition at the Arden Gallery organized by Alfred Salmony, see 3000 Years of Chinese Jade, exh. cat. (New York, Arden Gallery, January 10-February 11, 1939), cat. 69 (ill.). Loo also included the object in an exhibition in 1940, see An Exhibition of Chinese Stone Sculptures, exh. cat. (New York, C. T. Loo & Co., 1940), cat. 2, pl. 1.

[2] See C. T. Loo’s stockcard no. J.D. 38/03: “Marble. Pestle terminated with a monkey standing on his tail, arms broken, incised designs on the body. From An-yan. Shang dynasty. White marble calcified with a smooth light brown or rough white surface. Column with knob at base covered with deeply slated lines. On opposite end a monkey stand, large head with protruding ear, wide nose, mouth, arms together in front of body, long tail coiled around column. The body of monkey has overall engraved designs, a bottle-horned t’ao t’ieh on his shoulders, a cicada on his stomach, spirals arms and legs and lozenges on the tail,” Frank Caro Archive, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, copy in object file. According to information included on the stockcard, Paul Singer acquired the pestle in exchange for objects on June 8, 1954. The pestle was included in an exhibition of Paul Singer’s collection at Staten Island Museum in 1962 and in its accompanying catalogue, see Animal Forms in Chinese Art, exh. cat. (Staten Island Museum, September 23-November 4, 1962), cat. 3. The collection of Chinese art and antiquities assembled by Paul Singer over time was purchased by him on behalf of Arthur M. Sackler, Jillian Sackler, The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, the AMS Foundation for the Arts, Sciences and Humanities and later was transferred to the children of Arthur M. Sackler.

[2] Upon Paul Singer’s death in January 1997, his collection was transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery by order of the Executors of the Estate under a loan agreement signed on February 1997. Shortly thereafter, the Sackler Gallery was vested with full ownership and title to the collection in full agreement by the Sackler Foundations and Sackler family members. The formal accession of the Singer collection was completed in 2012.

Previous Owner(s)

Dr. Paul Singer 1904-1997

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum