Ritual wine container (hu) with masks

Historical period(s)
Middle Western Zhou dynasty, ca. late10th-early 9th century BCE
H x W x D: 48.8 x 33.3 x 27.8 cm (19 3/16 x 13 1/8 x 10 15/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 18: Art and Industry: China's Ancient Houma Foundry
Metalwork, Vessel

Ritual vessel: hu

casting, China, mask, Western Zhou dynasty (ca. 1050 - 771 BCE)

To 1912
Imperial Household collection of Prince Kung of China, Beijing, to 1912 [1]

From 1912 to 1913
Yamanaka & Company, purchased from Prince Kung estate, to 1913 [2]

From 1913 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased at the sale of the Prince Kung Collection (by order of Yamanaka & Company), American Art Association, New York February 27-28 and March 1, 1913 [3]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [4]


[1] According to Curatorial Remark 3, Charles Lang Freer, undated, in the object record: "The Yamanakas bought this piece directly from the late Prince Kung during 1912, brought it to New York and sold it to me through an auction held at the American Art Association galleries, on February 28, 1913. This piece, along with S.I. 517, was in former years in the collection of Prince Kung." The Imperial Household collection of Prince Kung was under the authority of Prince Kung Ching Wang (Yixin) (1833-1898), and, later, Prince Puwei (Prince Gongxian) (1880-1936), before Yamanaka and Company acquired it. See Illustrated Catalogue of the Remarkable Collection of the Imperial Prince Kung of China, A Wonderful Treasury of Celestial Art: recently acquired by the widely known firm of Yamanaka & Company (New York: American Art Association, 1913). See also, Original Bronze List, S.I. 389, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See note 1.

[4] 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)

Prince Kung Ching Wang 1833-1898
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source) 1917 - 1965

Published References
  • Helen Nebeker Tomlinson. West Meets East: Charles L. Freer Trailblazing Asian Art Collector. Herndon, Virginia. Insert p. 19.
  • Prince Kung Ching Wang. Illustrated Catalogue of the Remarkable Collection of the Imperial Prince Kung of China: A Wonderful Treasury of Celestial Art Recently Acquired by Yamanaka & Co. New York, February 27 - March 1, 1913. cat. 343, pls. 350-352.
  • 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, Massachusetts. p. 89.
  • J. LeRoy Davidson. New Light on Middle Chou Bronzes. vol. 3, no. 1 Detroit and New York, Winter 1940. p. 99, fig. 5.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Rutherford John Gettens, James Cahill, Noel Barnard. The Freer Chinese Bronzes. Oriental Studies Series, vol. 1, no. 7 Washington. cat. 76, p. 419.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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