Ritual wine warmer (jia) with taotie and birds

Historical period(s)
Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1400-1250 BCE
H x W x D: 41.8 x 21.5 x 22.3 cm (16 7/16 x 8 7/16 x 8 3/4 in)
China, Yangzi River Valley
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Vessel

Ritual vessel

bird, casting, China, mask, Shang dynasty (ca. 1600 - ca. 1050 BCE), taotie

To 1907
Y. Fujita and Company, Japan, to 1907 [1]

From 1907 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Y. Fujita and Company, Japan in 1907 [1]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [2]


[1] See Original Bronze List, S.I. 31, pg. 21, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Y. Fujita and Company (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


Crested birds top the posts and bovine heads embellish the side handle. Two bands of decoration are composed of three taotie flanked by tiny dragons.

Published References
  • Jessica Rawson. Western Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections. Ancient Chinese Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, vol. 2 Washington and Cambridge, MA. p. 54, fig. 61d.
  • Sherman Lee. The Freer's Studies in Connoisseurship (Review): Museum News. vol. 44, no. 1 New York, Spring 1984. p. 68, fig. 7.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Rutherford John Gettens, James Cahill, Noel Barnard. The Freer Chinese Bronzes. Oriental Studies Series, vol. 1, no. 7 Washington. cat. 127, p. 127.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum