Wine flask (bianhu) with geometric decoration

Historical period(s)
Late Warring States period, Late Eastern Zhou dynasty, ca. 3rd century BCE
Medium
Bronze with silver inlay
Dimensions
H x W x D (overall): 31.3 x 30.5 x 11.7 cm (12 5/16 x 12 x 4 5/8 in)
Geography
China, Henan or Hebei province
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1915.103a-b
On View Location
Freer Gallery 18: Art and Industry: China's Ancient Houma Foundry
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Vessel
Type

Ritual vessel: bianhu

Keywords
casting, China, Eastern Zhou dynasty (770 - 221 BCE), inlay, Warring States period (475 - 221 BCE), wine
Provenance

To 1915
Marcel Bing (1875-1920), Paris, France [1]

1915
Eugene Meyer (1875-1959) and Agnes E. Meyer (1887-1970), Washington, DC and Mt. Kisco, NY purchased on behalf of Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919) from Marcel Bing through C. T. Loo of Lai Yuan & Co., New York in early December 1915 [2]

1915 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Eugene Meyer on December 14, 1915 [3]

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

Notes:

[1] Bing’s ownership is documented in several locations. See, for example: November 11, 1915 letter from Marcel Bing to Charles Lang Freer; letters from December 10 and 15 from Eugene Meyer to Charles Lang Freer; telegrams exchanged between Marcel Bing, Charles Lang Freer, and Eugene Meyer dating from November 15 to December 5, 1915; February 2, 1916 letter from Charles Lang Freer to Marcel Bing; and Freer Gallery of Art Original Bronze List S.I. 671. Copies of aforementioned documents in object file.

[2] Eugene Meyer, Agnes E. Meyer, and Charles Lang Freer negotiated with Marcel Bing to arrange a joint purchase of Bing’s collection of 11 Chinese bronzes and 1 jade. See correspondence cited in note 1. The Meyers and Freer decided to divide the collection - Meyers acquiring 5 bronzes and Freer acquiring 6 bronzes in addition to the jade – and the price, calculating each party’s payment was based on the appraisal values assigned to each piece. The Meyers ultimately sent the entire payment to C. T. Loo, Lai Yuan & Company (sometimes spelled Lai-Yuan), who in turn wired money to Bing. Meyers made the payment in early December 1915, with Freer paying the Meyers for the objects destined for his collection on December 14, 1915. See also: Freer Gallery of Art, Original Bronze List, S. I. 670; invoices from Lai Yuan & Company addressed to Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Meyer and Mr. Charles L. Freer; and Dorota Chudzicka, “’In Love at First Sight Completely, Hopelessly, and Forever with Chinse Art’: The Eugene and Agnes Meyer Collection of Chinese Art at the Freer Gallery of Art” in Collections Vol. 10, No. 3 (Summer 2014), p. 334-335, copies in object file. All the objects included in this large sale, which were originally divided between the Meyers and Freer, are now in the museum’s collection ( F1915.102; F1915.03a-b; F1915.104; F1915.105; F1915.106a-f; F1915.107; F1915.108; F1961.30a-b; F1961.32a-b; F1968.28; F1968.29).

[3] See Original Bronze List, S.I. 671, copy in object file. See also note 2.

[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)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer (1875-1959) and (1887-1970)
Marcel Bing 1875-1920
C.T. Loo 1880-1957
Lai-Yuan & Company (C.L. Freer source) ca. 1915-April 1921

Published References
  • Martin J. Powers. Pattern and Person: Ornament, Society, and Self in Classical China. Harvard East Asia Monographs, no. 262 Cambridge, Massachusetts. .
  • Robert Dale Jacobsen. Inlaid Bronzes of Pre-Imperial China: A Classical Tradition and Its Later Revivals. 2 vols. Ann Arbor. pl. 144.
  • T'an Tan-chiung. T'ung ch'i kai shu. Taipei. pl. 130b.
  • Jenny F. So. Bronze Styles of the Eastern Zhou Period. Ann Arbor. pl. 62.
  • William Watson. The Art of Dynastic China. New York, 1981. no. 270.
  • Mizuno Seiichi. In Shu seidoki to tama [Bronzes and Jades of Ancient China]. Tokyo. pl. 146.
  • Sueji Umehara. On the Shapes of the Bronze Vessels of Ancient China: An Archaeological Study. Toho Bunka Gakuin kyoto kenkyujo kenkyu hohoku, vol.15 Kyoto. pl. 21, no. 2.
  • Osvald Siren. A History of Early Chinese Art. 4 vols., London, 1929-1930. pl. 44.
  • Sueji Umehara. Shina kodo seikwa [Selected Relics of Ancient Chinese Bronzes from Collections in Europe and Asia]. 3 vols., Osaka. vol. 3: pl. 219.
  • Chen Mengjia. Yin Zhou qing tong qi fen lei tu lu [Yin-Chou ch'ing t'ung ch'i fen lei t'u lu]. 2 vols., Dongjing. vol. 2: A 766.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 12, vol. 1: p.154.
  • unknown. Boston, July 14, 1938. p. 8.
  • Liu Wang-hang. Chiu yu ch'ing t'ung chiu ch'i. No. 22 Taipei. p. 13.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 18.
  • Higuchi Takayasu. Kijin to ningen no Chugoku. Tokyo. p. 35.
  • Nicole de Bisscop, W.G. de Kesel. Chinees Lakwerk. Zutphen. p. 41.
  • Michael Sullivan. The Arts of China., 3rd ed. Berkeley. p. 44.
  • Thomas Lawton. Chinese Art of the Warring States Period: Change and Continuity, 480-222 B.C. Washington, 1982-1983. cat. 10, pp. 46-47.
  • Calendar of exhibitions, the United States of America and Canada: Chinese art of the Warring States period, 480-222 B.C. vol. 13, no. 10 Hong Kong, October 1982. p. 52.
  • Sigisbert Chrétien Bosch Reitz. Catalogue of an Exhibition of Early Chinese Pottery and Sculpture. Exh. cat. New York. no. 338, p. 72.
  • Dorota Chudzicka. In Love at First Sight Completely, Hopelessly, and Forever with Chinese Art: The Eugene and Agnes Meyer Collection of Chinese Art at the Freer Gallery of Art. vol. 10, no. 3, Summer 2004. pp. 334-335.
  • Report from America: A Review on the Exhibition "Chinese Art of the Warring States Period: Change and Continuity, 480-222 B.C. vol. 28, no. 4, Winter 1982-1983. pp. 384-386, fig. 1.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Rutherford John Gettens, James Cahill, Noel Barnard. The Freer Chinese Bronzes. Oriental Studies Series, vol. 1, no. 7 Washington. cat. 101, p. 519.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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