Hinged garment hook with dragon

Historical period(s)
Warring States period, Late Eastern Zhou dynasty, 5th-4th century BCE
Bronze with traces of paste inlay
H x W: 22.3 x 9.8 cm (8 3/4 x 3 7/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Tool and Equipment


casting, China, Eastern Zhou dynasty (770 - 221 BCE), inlay, Warring States period (475 - 221 BCE), WWII-era provenance

From at least 1924
C. T. Loo & Company, Paris, from at least 1924 [1]

From at least 1933
Mrs. Christian R. Holmes (1871-1941), New York and "The Chimneys," Sands Point, Port Washington, Long Island, from at least 1933 [2]

From at least 1944
Tonying and Company, New York from at least February 1944 [3]

From 1944
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Tonying and Company, New York on September 21, 1944 [4]


[1] See Zhu Deyi, P. Pelliot, Bronzes antiques de la Chine appartenant à C. T. Loo et Cie. (Paris and Brussels: Librairie Nationale d’art et d’histoire, G. van Oest, 1924), pl. 36. According to Paul Pelliot’s preface to the catalogue, the bronzes forming the C. T. Loo collection and selected for the publication had been recently brought from China.

[2] See Umehara Sueji, Shina-kodo Seikwa (Selected Relics of Ancient Chinese Bronzes from Collections in Europe and America): Part III Miscellaneous Objects vol. 1 (Osaka: Yamanaka & Co., 1933), pl. 65. Mrs. Holmes lent the object to the International Exhibition of Chinese Art at Royal Academy of Fine Arts in London in 1935-36, see Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Chinese Art, exh. cat. (London: Royal Academy of Arts, November 1935-March 7, 1936), cat. 535 (ill.).

[3] See “List of Objects Contemplated for Purchase by the Freer Gallery of Art,” approved by C. G. Abbot, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution on February 4, 1944, copy in object file.

[4] See Tonying & Company’s invoice, dated September 21, 1944, in which the object figures under no. B. 39: “Large Bronze Hook with hinged handle / Chou,” copy in object file. See also A. G. Wenley’s letter to C. F. Yau, Tonying & Co., dated September 19, 1944, in which Wenley confirms the purchase of the object.

Previous Owner(s)

Tonying and Company
Mrs. Christian R. Holmes 1871-1941
C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948

Published References
  • Sueji Umehara. (Obei shucho) Shina kodo seika [Selected Relics of Ancient Chinese Bronzes from Collections in Europe and America]. 7 vols., Kyoto and Osaka, 1933-1935. vol. 1, part III, pl. 65.
  • Thomas Lawton. Chinese Art of the Warring States Period: Change and Continuity, 480-222 B.C. Washington, 1982-1983. cat. 23, p. 62.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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