Lidded ritual food server (dou) with dragon interlace

Historical period(s)
early Warring States period, Late Eastern Zhou dynasty, ca. late 5th-early 4th century BCE
Medium
Bronze with gold inlay
Dimensions
H x W x D: 15.2 x 18.8 x 14.1 cm (6 x 7 3/8 x 5 9/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1939.41a-b
On View Location
Freer Gallery 18: Art and Industry: China's Ancient Houma Foundry
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Vessel
Type

Ritual vessel: dou

Keywords
casting, China, dragon, Eastern Zhou dynasty (770 - 221 BCE), food, hammering, inlay, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

From at least 1939
C. T. Loo & Company, New York from at least January 1939 [1]

From 1939
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from C. T. Loo & Company on July 6, 1939 [2]

Notes:

[1] The vessel was exhibited by Loo in January 1939, see C. T. Loo & Co., An Exhibition of Chinese Bronzes, exh. cat. (New York: C. T. Loo & Co., January 1939), cat. 32, pl. XVIII. See also Loo's stockcard no. 81579: "Food vessel and cover (tou). Highly conventionalized dragon motives in gold encircle the entire body with a leaf like decoration around the lip. Loop handles. The cover removes to form a bowl. Green patina. Late Chou Period. Height 6 in," C. T. Loo & Frank Caro Archive, Musée Guimet, Paris, copy in object file.

[2] See C. T. Loo's invoice, dated July 6, 1939, copy in object file.

Previous Owner(s)

C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948

Published References
  • William Watson. The Art of Dynastic China. New York, 1981. ill. 271.
  • Jenny F. So. Bronze Styles of the Eastern Zhou Period. Ann Arbor. pl. 50a, b.
  • Sekai kokogaku taikei [Archaeology of the World]. 16 vols., Tokyo, 1958-1962. vol. 6: p. 71, fig. 193.
  • Mizuno Seiichi. In Shu seidoki to tama [Bronzes and Jades of Ancient China]. Tokyo. pl. 137.
  • Martin J. Powers. Pattern and Person: Ornament, Society, and Self in Classical China. Harvard East Asia Monographs, no. 262 Cambridge, Massachusetts. .
  • J. LeRoy Davidson. An Exhibition of Chinese Bronzes. Exh. cat. New York. cat. 32, pl. 18.
  • Chugoku bijutsu [Chinese Art in Western Collections]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1972-1973. vol. 4: fig. 73.
  • Capolavori nei secoli: Enciclopedia di tutte i popoli in tutti i tempi. 12 vols., Milan, 1961 - 1964. vol. 3: p. 21.
  • 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 270.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 30, vol. 1: p. 156.
  • Grace Dunham Guest, Archibald Gibson Wenley. Annotated Outlines of the History of Chinese Arts. Washington, 1949. p. 3.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 18.
  • Thomas Lawton. Chinese Art of the Warring States Period: Change and Continuity, 480-222 B.C. Washington, 1982-1983. cat. 8, pp. 41-42.
  • Jenny F. So. Eastern Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections. Ancient Chinese Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, vol. 3 New York, 1995. p. 42, fig. 59.
  • compiled by the staff of the Freer Gallery of Art. A Descriptive and Illustrative Catalogue of Chinese Bronzes: Acquired During the Administration of John Ellerton Lodge. Oriental Studies Series, no. 3 Washington, 1946. p. 60, pl. 32.
  • Mario Bussagli. Chinese Bronzes. London and New York. p. 63, pl. 27.
  • Daisy Lion-Goldschmidt, Jean-Claude Moreau-Gobard. Chinese Art: Bronze, Jade, Sculpture, Ceramics. The Universe Library of Antique Art 4 vols., , 1st edition. London and New York. p. 103, pl. 42.
  • William Willetts. Foundations of Chinese Art from Neolithic Pottery to Modern Architecture. New York, 1965. p. 108.
  • Walter Karp. The Smithsonian Institution: An Establishment for the Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge Among Men. Washington. p. 117.
  • Oppi Untracht. Metal Techniques for Craftsmen: A Basic Manual for Craftsmen on the Methods of Forming and Decorating Metals., 1st ed. Garden City. p. 150.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Rutherford John Gettens, James Cahill, Noel Barnard. The Freer Chinese Bronzes. Oriental Studies Series, vol. 1, no. 7 Washington. cat. 105, p. 539.
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.