Wine flask (you) with handle and cover

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1

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At A Glance

  • Period

    ca. 1300-1028 BCE
  • Geography

  • Material

  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 31.5 × 14 × 14 cm (12 3/8 × 5 1/2 × 5 1/2 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Bronze ritual vessel of the type you Pear-shaped flask, on a conical foot, with a long, flaring neck and a domed lid surmounted by a knob. The large swing handle follows the contour of the vessel up to the mouth, then widens to form an approximately semi-circular arch. The handle is rectangular in cross-section and shaped so as to suggest the body of a snake, which is marked by a continuous chain of boxed rhombi and terminates in triangular heads on the broadened ends. The snake heads hide the device to which the handle is affixed. Narrow bands of spirals with barbs encircle the foot. On the neck of the vessel is a taotie frieze, surmounted by bowstrings. Similar bowstrings decorate the domed lid and knob.
    Surface: rough green patina with especially heavy accretions on one upper section of the vessel in which textile impressions are clearly visible.
  • Provenance

    From 1941 to 1942
    C. T. Loo & Co., New York from April 1941 [1]
    From 1942 to 1951
    Eduard von der Heydt (1882-1964), Ascona, Switzerland, purchased from C. T. Loo on September 3, 1942 and lent to the Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo, New York [2]
    US Government vested Eduard von der Heydt's property under the provisions of "Trading with the Enemy Act" by vesting order, dated August 21, 1951 [3]
    From 1964 to 1973
    National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, from March 1964 [4]
    From 1973
    Freer Gallery of Art, transferred from National Museum of Natural History in 1973 [5]
    [1] See C. T. Loo's stockcard no. 87129: "Bronze jar with cover and handle Chou Ht 12 1/2 ins / Bronze vessel. Yu with cover. Decorated around foot and neck by bands of spiral motives. Cover surmounted by a knob. Handle terminated by snake's heads and ornated by lozenges and triangles. Rough green patina with red [rust?] splashes. Shang," C. T. Loo & Frank Caro Archive, Musée Guimet, Paris, copy in object file. According to information on the stockcard, the object was inventoried in April 1941.
    In November that year, Loo exhibited the bronze at his gallery in New York, see Exhibition of Chinese Arts, exh. cat. (New York: C. T. Loo & Co., November 1, 1941-April 30, 1942), cat. 35 (ill.).
    [2] See C. T. Loo's stockcard cited in note 1. According to information on the stockcard, the object was sent to Buffalo Museum of Science on August 31, 1942.
    See also "Catalogue of the Von der Heydt Loan to the Buffalo Museum of Science: Loan Material from Baron Von der Heydt, as of March 1949," where the object is documented under an inventory card no. 42133, copy in object file. According to the inventory card, the object was purchased on September 8, 1943.
    [3] See Vesting Order No. 18344, August 21, 1951, Office of Alien Property, Department of Justice.
    Eduard von der Heydt exhausted all the legal remedies against the forfeiture of his property provided to him by the Trading with the Enemy Act.
    [4] Attorney General, Robert Kennedy authorized transfer of the von der Heydt collection from Buffalo Museum of Science to the custody of the Smithsonian Institution in March 1964. The collection was transferred to the National Museum of Natural History.
    In 1966 US Congress legislated transferring the title of the von der Heydt collection to the Smithsonian Institution, see Public Law 89-503, 80 Stat. 287, July 18, 1966. The object was accessioned under no. 448077, see "Smithsonian Office of Anthropology Accession Data," copy in object file.
    [5] The object was among 13 objects in the von der Heydt collection transferred from National Museum of Natural History to the Freer Gallery of Art, see "Smithsonian Institution Intramural Transfer of Specimens" memorandum, dated January 29, 1973, copy in object file.
    It was accessioned to the permanent collection in 1974.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Chinese Art (February 18, 1983 to April 1, 1987)
    Chinese Art (June 15, 1982 to September 24, 1982)
    Chinese Art (March 15, 1982 to June 15, 1982)
    A Decade of Discovery: Selected Acquisitions 1970-1980 (November 9, 1979 to May 22, 1980)
    Chinese Art (January 1, 1963 to March 6, 1981)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    C.T. Loo & Company (1914-1948)
    Baron Eduard von der Heydt (1882-1964)
    National Museum of Natural History, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution
  • Origin

  • Credit Line

    Transfer from the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

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