Ritual vessel

Ceremonial vessel, “yu,” with a cover. Wood stand.
Surface: cuprite patination with traces of malachite.
Decoration: in high and low relief. Inscriptions inside of the vessel and the cover.

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Historical period(s)
Western Zhou dynasty, ca. late 11th century-early 10th century BCE
Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
H x W x D (overall): 29.1 x 20.3 x 14 cm (11 7/16 x 8 x 5 1/2 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1909.258a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Vessel
Type

Ritual vessel: yu

Keywords
China, Western Zhou dynasty (ca. 1050 - 771 BCE)
Provenance

To 1909
Riu Cheng Chai, Beijing, to 1909 [1]

From 1909 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Riu Cheng Chai, Beijing, in 1909 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] See Original Bronze List, S.I. 83, 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) and Custodian(s)

Riu Cheng Chai (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Description

Ceremonial vessel, "yu," with a cover. Wood stand.
Surface: cuprite patination with traces of malachite.
Decoration: in high and low relief. Inscriptions inside of the vessel and the cover.

Inscription(s)

(A.G.W., 1944) The inscriptions are the same in both cover and bottom and read:
"ya ch'i ? tso mu hsin i" [Chn] ? [Chn] or "Ch'i ? of Ya has made for Mother Hsin a [sacral] vessel."
The questioned character [Chn] has been read as "i" [Chn] by Takata Tadahiro [Chn] (See "Kochuhen, ch. 55, p. 14, a). However, other scholars tend to leave it unread.
(See Curatorial Remarks number 4)

The Translation reads: Bronze jar, called "Yi," with some inscriptions on the cover and the bottom of the jar. The inscriptions read: "Ya-Tso-mo-Sui-Yi." 'Mo-Sui-Yi' is the name of this jar. The first word means that the jar is offered to the temple. The second and third words mean that so and so made it.
(See Curatorial Remark number 7)

Published References
  • Chin wen tsung chi. Taipei. vol. 7: p. 2947.
  • Shang Chou chin wen shi ch'eng. Multi-volume, Taipei. cat. 5949.
  • Duanfang. Tao-chai chi chin lu [Bronzes in the Collection of Tuan Fang]. 8 vols. Shanghai. vol. 2: p. 34.
  • Meng-chia Ch'en. Style of Chinese Bronzes. vol. 1 Honolulu, 1945-1946. pl. 4, fig. 23.
  • Bernhard Karlgren. Yin and Chou in Chinese Bronzes. no. 8, 1955 article reprint. Stockholm. pp. 9-156, pl. 20.
  • The Eternal Army: The Terracotta Soldiers of the First Emperor. Vercelli and New York. p. 28.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Rutherford John Gettens, James Cahill, Noel Barnard. The Freer Chinese Bronzes. Oriental Studies Series, vol. 1, no. 7 Washington. cat. 53, p. 299.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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