string(23) "edanmdm:fsg_F1947.15a-b" Lidded incense burner (xianglu) with geometric decoration and narrative scenes - National Museum of Asian Art

Lidded incense burner (xianglu) with geometric decoration and narrative scenes

Detail of a pattern
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At A Glance

On View
  • Period

    ca. 2nd century BCE
  • Geography

    Henan or Hebei province, China
  • Material

    Bronze with gold, silver, turquoise, and carnelian inlay
  • Dimension

    H x W: 17.9 x 10 cm (7 1/16 x 3 15/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Provenance

    Before 1947
    Jun Tsei Tai (1911-1992), Shanghai, China to February 1949 then New York, NY [1]
    Lu Wu Antiques Co., Shanghai, China purchased from Jun Tsei Tai in Shanghai [2]
    February 1947
    C. T. Loo & Company, New York, by transfer from Lu Wu Antiquities Co. in February 1947 in Shanghai, China [3]
    From July 1947
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from C. T. Loo & Company in July 1947 [4]
    [1] Jun Tsei Tai (more commonly known in the West as J. T. Tai), known also as Dai Fubao in Shanghai, was an incredibly successful art dealer who was initially based in Shanghai China. Tai became one of C. T. Loo's most prolific suppliers in the 1940s. In 1949, however, J. T. Tai fled with his family to Hong Kong, when Communist leaders came into power. In 1950, he immigrated to New York City, where he established J. T. Tai & Company, a successful company that specialized in the sale of Chinese arts.
    See C. T. Loo's stock card no. NYL-7/982: "Bronze hill-censer on a wide spreading foot with three dragons in relief inlaid with gold, silver and various stones. Body decorated with bands of abstract motives in gold, silver with turquoise and rubies. Cover with fine rows of hills with hunting scenes, fighting animals and birds in gold, silver and hard stones inlaid, many stones missing Late Chou," copy in object file. The card states that this object came from J. T. Tai.
    [2] Lu Wu was an export business that supplied C. T. Loo & Company, New York and Paris with Chinese objects. Loo formed this company in 1926. The name, Lu Wu combines the names of C. T. Loo and Wu Qi Zhou, Lu Wu's primary associates. The business acquired objects from across China, but everything passed through Shanghai before being sent to France. Zhou and Laio would send all acquisitions to Shanghai, where Wu packaged and shipped them to France. J. T. Tai (see note 1) began working with Lu Wu around 1938. Tai operated Fuyun zhai guwandian, a shop with a large inventory in Shanghai.
    [3] See C. T. Loo & Company stock card cited in note 1.
    [4] See C. T. Loo & Company invoice, date July 8, 1947, copy in object file.
    Research updated January 25, 2022.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Art and Industry: China’s Houma Foundry (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
    Chinese Mountains of Immortality: A Focused Look (April 2 to September 25, 2005)
    Clay and Metal: Ancient Chinese Ceramics and Metal (February 25, 1997 to August 9, 2011)
    Chinese Metalwork (May 9, 1993 to March 21, 1997)
    Chinese Art (February 18, 1983 to April 1, 1987)
    Chinese Art (March 15, 1982 to June 15, 1982)
    Chinese Art (January 1, 1963 to March 6, 1981)
    Chinese Bronze, Jade, Metalwork (March 1, 1957 to January 1, 1963)
    Centennial Exhibition, Galleries 14 and 15 (February 25, 1956 to March 1, 1957)
    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)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Jun Tsei Tai 戴潤齋 (1911-1992)
    C. T. Loo 盧芹齋 (1880-1957)
    Lu Wu Antiques Co. 盧吳古玩公司 (1911-ca. 1949)
    C.T. Loo & Company (1914-1948)
  • Origin

    Henan or Hebei province, China
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

  • On View

    Freer Gallery 18: Art and Industry: China's Ancient Houma Foundry
  • Restrictions and Rights

    CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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