Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
From at least 1929 to at least 1938 Mrs. Christian R. (Bettie F.) Holmes (1971-1941), New York and "The Chimneys," Sands Point, Port Washington, Long Island, from at least 1929  From at least 1944 Tonying & Company, New York, from at least February 1944  From 1944 Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Tonying & Company, New York on February 7, 1944  Notes:  See Yamanaka & Company, To-So Seikwa: Select relics of the Tang and Sung Dynasties from the Collections in Europe and America, vol. 2 (Osaka, 1929), pl. 47. According to this source, the mirror reportedly was excavated at Mapo, Luoyang, Henan province. In 1938 Mrs. Holmes lent the mirror to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, see Chinese Bronzes of the Shang (1766-1122 B. C.) through the T’ang Dynasty (A.D. 618-906) (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 19-November 27, 1938), cat. 245 (ill.).  See Tonying & Company’s invoice, dated February 7, 1944, in which the mirror figures under no. B. 81: “Fine Bronze Mirror, nearly square with rounded corners, decorated with Phoenix, Butterflies, etc. / Tang” copy in object file. The acquisition was approved by C. G. Abbot, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, on February 4, 1944, see “List of Objects Contemplated for Purchase by the Freer Gallery of Art,” copy in object file.  See invoice cited in note 2. See also A. G. Wenley’s letter to C. F. Yau, Tonying & Co., dated February 5, 1944, in which Wenley confirms the purchase of the mirror along with seven other mirrors from the Holmes collection (see records for F1944.3-F1944.7, F1944.9 -F1944.10).
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Please note: The Freer Gallery of Art will be closed to the public from January 2016 until summer 2017. The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Library, and Archives will remain open for the duration of the renovation. Learn more »