Bell (bo) with birds and dragons; from a set of four

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 3

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At A Glance

  • Period

    ca. 500--450 BCE
  • Geography

    Houma foundry, Shanxi province, China
  • Material

  • Dimension

    H x W: 66.4 x 47 cm (26 1/8 x 18 1/2 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Bell of the type chung [chn] decorated with casting in relief. Finial of two winged dragons. Pale green patination with granular incrustations. The type of bell is a "bo zhong."
  • Provenance

    From 1939 to 1941
    C. T. Loo & Company, New York from at least March 1939 [1]
    From 1941
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from C. T. Loo & Company on September 29, 1941 [2]
    [1] See C. T. Loo's stockcard no. 81926a: "Bell (chung) Bottom decorated by a panel of turning dragons pattern. Large bosses formed by coiled snakes separated by registers of intertwined dragons motives. Handle formed by 2 birds, swallowing the tail with spreaded wings over an intertwined snakes pattern. Rough green patina. Late Chou," C. T. Loo & Frank Caro Archive, Musée Guimet, Paris, copy in object file. The object was sent to the Freer Gallery for examination on May 2, 1939.
    [2] See C. T. Loo's invoice, dated September 29, 1941, copy in object file.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Resound: Ancient Bells of China (October 14, 2017 - July 5, 2021)
    Virtue and Entertainment: Chinese Music in the Visual Arts (October 1, 2005 to May 29, 2006)
    Music in the Age of Confucius (April 30 to September 17, 2000)
    Chinese Art (February 18, 1983 to April 1, 1987)
    Chinese Art (March 15, 1982 to June 15, 1982)
    Untitled Exhibition, South Corridor (March 6, 1981 to May 7, 1984)
    Chinese Art (January 1, 1963 to March 6, 1981)
    Chinese Bronze, Jade, Metalwork (March 1, 1957 to January 1, 1963)
    Untitled Exhibition, Chinese Art, 1955 (August 26, 1955 to October 25, 1955)
    Untitled Exhibition, Ancient Chinese Art, 1946 (May 7, 1946 to February 25, 1956)
    Untitled Exhibition, Chinese Art, 1944 (November 15, 1944 to May 6, 1946)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    C.T. Loo & Company (1914-1948)
  • Origin

    Houma foundry, Shanxi province, China
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

    Musical Instrument
  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

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