One of a pair of bells (bo) with felines and dragons; probably from a set of four

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2

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At A Glance

  • Period

    ca. 550-500 BCE
  • Geography

  • Material

  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 35.1 x 26 x 21.9 cm (13 13/16 x 10 1/4 x 8 5/8 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Provenance

    By 1950-1953
    C. T. Loo, INC., New York, method of acquisition unknown [1]?
    C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York, by transfer from C. T. Loo, INC. around 1953 [2]?
    Frank Caro Chinese Art, New York, by transfer from C. T. Loo Chinese Art around 1961 [3]
    By 1964-1987
    Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), purchased from Frank Caro Chinese Art [4]
    From 1987
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler [5]
    [1] C.T. Loo (1880-1957) formed C. T. Loo, INC. in 1948, when he lost access to trade in mainland China. See also note 2. C. T. Loo was one of the most prominent and well-known figures in the world of Chinese art in the first half of the twentieth century. Loo owned and operated eponymous galleries in New York and Paris, where he offered Chinese, Indian, and South Asian antiquities for study and sale.?
    [2] On September 1, 1952, C. T. Loo’s associate, Frank Caro (1904-1980) took over daily operations of the New York business. C. T. Loo, INC. was dissolved by the summer of 1953 and Caro operated as C. T. Loo Chinese Art. Loo continued to play a large role in the business, as he and Caro struck a deal in which profits made on Loo’s stock would be evenly divided and Loo would maintain the lease and rental payments on the company’s gallery space. About 1950, Caro assigned new inventory numbers to C. T. Loo & Company’s stock, assigning numbers with an “E” prefix. This object was included in that inventory process, receiving the new number “E-5023”.
    [3] See note 1 and 2. After Loo’s death in 1957, Caro operated C. T. Loo Chinese Art independently from the Paris offices, but in 1962, Loo’s heirs took control of the gallery’s inventory. In 1962, Caro opened as Frank Caro Chinese Art in the same gallery space. It's unclear if he purchased the work from the Loo heirs or if ownership was transferred in another manner.
    [4] See object file for copy of Frank Caro Chinese Art invoice to Dr. Arthur M. Sackler, dated August 26, 1964, for stock no. E-5023. Dr. Arthur M. Sackler was a physician, medical publisher, pharmaceutical marketer, and collector of Asian art
    [5] Pursuant to the agreement between Arthur M. Sackler and the Smithsonian Institution, dated July 28, 1982, legal title of the donated objects was transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on September 11, 1987.
    Research updated May 18, 2023
  • Collection

    Arthur M. Sackler Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Resound: Ancient Bells of China (October 14, 2017 - July 5, 2021)
    America's Smithsonian (February 9 to August 26, 1997)
    In Praise of Ancestors: Ritual Objects from China (September 28, 1987 to January 1, 1989)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    C.T. Loo, INC. (ca. 1948-no later than July 1953)
    C.T. Loo Chinese Art (1953-1961)
    Frank Caro Chinese Art (1962-1980)
    Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987)
  • Origin

  • Credit Line

    Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
  • Type

    Musical Instrument
  • Restrictions and Rights

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