Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, 18th century
Porcelain with Guan-style glaze
Guan style ware
H x W: 10.2 x 6.1 cm (4 x 2 3/8 in)
China, Jiangxi province, Probably Jingdezhen
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


China, Guan ware, porcelain, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), WWII-era provenance

By 1937
C. T. Loo & Company, New York, NY from at least February 1, 1937 [1]

From 1937
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from C. T. Loo & Company, New York, NY through C. T. Loo [2]


[1] C. T. Loo's Approval Memo, dated February 1, 1937, on C. T. Loo & Company, Chinese Art letterhead, no. F 260: “Kuan Yao small square vase with two small tube handles, very thin crackles on the glaze – SUNG – wooden stand,” copy in object file. There are conflicting accounts regarding the dealer’s source. In 1949, C. T. Loo informed the museum’s director, John Alexander Pope, that this object and F1937.16 belonged to the sister of Puyi (1906-1967), the last emperor of China (1908-1912) and was brought to the United States in the 1930s through Hong Kong, see John Alexander Pope's note, dated to 1949, in object file. Frank Caro, Loo's business associate and later his successor in the company, later contradicted this statement and told John A. Pope that the object belonged to the daughter of Zhang Zuolin (Chang Tso-lin) (1873-1928) and in 1933 was sold by her to T.T. Lee, an agent of Loo, see John A. Pope's note, dated to 1961, in object file. In 1961, Frank Caro was in the process of establishing his own company, Frank Caro Chinese Art. Neither story has been independently verified.

[2] See C. T. Loo's invoice, dated May 3, 1937, copy in object file. See also, C. T. Loo & Company stock card no. F 260, copy in object file.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

C.T. Loo 1880-1957
Frank Caro 1904-1980
C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948

Published References
  • Benjamin Rowland, Laurence Sickman, H. G. Henderson, Robert Treat Paine, Richard Ettinghausen, Eric Schroeder. The University Prints. Oriental Art Series O 4 vols. Newton, Massachusetts, 1938-1941. Section 2: Early Chinese Art, pl. 245.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope. A Letter from Washington. vol. 5, no. 4 Boston, December 1953. .
  • Robert Treat Paine. A Preliminary Report on the Sub-Surface Structure of Glazes of Kuan and Kuan-type Wares. vol. 5, no. 3 Boston, September 1953. pl. 2.
  • Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 94.
  • Warren E. Cox. The Book of Pottery and Porcelain. 2 vols., New York. vol. 1: p. 146.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.