Fitting in the form of a quadruped with interlace

A quadruped; surface almost entirely covered with linear designs in countersunk relief. Smooth, gray-green patina with scattered encrustations of green. Bronze cracked on back, left side and belly; forelegs repaired.

Historical period(s)
Late Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period, 5th century BCE
Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
H x W: 11.8 x 20.4 cm (4 5/8 x 8 1/16 in)
Geography
China, Probably Shanxi province, Liyu
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1948.24
On View Location
Freer Gallery 18: Art and Industry: China's Ancient Houma Foundry
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Vessel
Type

Fitting

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

Excavated at Li-yü, Shanxi province, China, possibly in 1923 [1]

From 1947 to 1948
C. T. Loo & Company, New York, from August 1947 [2]

From 1948
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from C. T. Loo & Company on December 2, 1948 [3]

Notes:

[1] The animal might be identical with one of the two animals published by Georges Salles in 1934, see Georges Salles, "Les bronzes de Li-Yu," Revue des Arts Asiatiques vol. 8 (1934), pp. 156-7, pl. 50a. Salles described the two animals as at the time still held in Shanxi. See also Thomas Lawton, Chinese Art of the Warring States Period: Change and Continuity, 480-222 B. C. (Washington, DC: Freer Gallery of Art, 1982), pp. 78-79, no. 35.

[2] See C. T. Loo's stockcard no. CHL 7/936: "Small bronze animal perfect green patina Late Chou "li Yu," C. T. Loo & Frank Caro Archive, Musée Guimet, Paris, copy in object file. According to an annotation on the stockcard, the object was imported directly from China. On January 20, 1948, the object was taken by Loo to the Freer Gallery for examination.

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

Previous Owner(s)

C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948

Description

A quadruped; surface almost entirely covered with linear designs in countersunk relief. Smooth, gray-green patina with scattered encrustations of green. Bronze cracked on back, left side and belly; forelegs repaired.

Published References
  • Zusetsu sekai bunkashi taikei [Cultural History of the World]. 27 vols., Tokyo, 1958-1961. Vol. 15: pp. 128, 141.
  • Hai wai i chen [Chinese Art in Overseas Collections]. Taipei, 1985. vol. 2: p. 138.
  • Wai ta i shu chuan t'ung t'u lu [The Great Heritage of Chinese Art in Private Collections Museums all over the World]. multi-volumed, Shanghai. vol. 1: pl. 8.
  • Quanyu Wang, Yi Chen, Rongyu Su. Houma Bronzes in the British Museum: A Technical Study. vol. 50, 6. Hong Kong, November/December 2019. p. 48, fig. 5b.
  • Thomas Lawton. Chinese Art of the Warring States Period: Change and Continuity, 480-222 B.C. Washington, 1982-1983. cat. 35, p. 77.
  • Georges Salles. Les Bronzes de Li-yu. Paris. pp. 146-158, pl. 50.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. 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.

Related Objects