Ritual wine container (hu) with masks and dragons

Historical period(s)
middle Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 12th century BCE
H x W x D: 38.1 × 27.8 × 23 cm (15 × 10 15/16 × 9 1/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Vessel

Ritual vessel: hu

Anyang period (ca. 1300 - ca. 1050 BCE), casting, China, mask, WWII-era provenance

From 1947 to 1948
C. T. Loo & Company, New York, from at least May 6, 1947 [1]

From 1948
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from C. T. Loo & Company on June 21, 1948 [2]


[1] See C. T. Loo's stockcard no. 87520: "Bronze ritual vessel large "HU" on a high oval rim foot. Silvery and rough green patina. SHANG," C. T. Loo & Frank Caro Archive, Musée Guimet, Paris, copy in object file. According to an annotation on the stockcard, the bronze was imported from China in 1947. On May 6, 1947, it was taken by Loo to the Freer Gallery for examination.

[2] See C. T. Loo's invoice, dated June 21, 1948, copy in object file.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948

Published References
  • Sueji Umehara. Yin hsu: Ancient Capital of the Shang Dynasty at An-yang. Tokyo. pl. 94.
  • Chugoku bijutsu [Chinese Art in Western Collections]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1972-1973. vol. 4: fig. 23.
  • James H. Benn. The Mineralogy of Fossils. no. 244, January-February 1955. pp. 3-20.
  • Important Chinese Art: 21-22 September 2021. New York, NY, September 2021. p. 31, fig. 4.
  • Smithsonian Institution. Report of the Secretary, 1947-1948. Washington. p. 44, pl. 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. 5, p. 47.
  • Daniel Freeman. Shang Bronzes in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and Princeton. cat. 27, p. 93.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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