Square lidded wine ewer (fangguang) with taotie, dragons, and birds

Historical period(s)
Early Western Zhou dynasty, ca. 1050-975 BCE
H x W x D: 22.9 x 10.7 x 24.6 cm (9 x 4 3/16 x 9 11/16 in)
China, Henan province, Luoyang
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Vessel

Ritual vessel: fangguang

bird, casting, China, dragon, mask, taotie, Western Zhou dynasty (ca. 1050 - 771 BCE), wine, WWII-era provenance

From at least 1948 to 1949
C. T. Loo & Company, New York, from at least January 22, 1948 [1]

From 1949
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from C. T. Loo & Company on July 1, 1949 [2]


[1] See C. T. Loo's Approval List, dated February 3, 1948, with an annotation that the listed objects had been left by Loo at the Freer Gallery on January 22, 1948.

[2] See C. T. Loo's invoice, dated July 1, 1949, copy in object file.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948


Both the body and the lid of this vessel bear the same brief dedication of eight characters--"Sheng made for his deceased Father Xin [this] valued sacral vessel"--followed by a possible clan symbol. The handle is a modern replacement.

Published References
  • Daniel Shapiro. Ancient Chinese Bronzes: A Personal Appreciation. .
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Rutherford John Gettens, James Cahill, Noel Barnard. The Freer Chinese Bronzes. Oriental Studies Series, vol. 1, no. 7 Washington. cat. 44, p. 249.
  • Jessica Rawson. Western Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections. Ancient Chinese Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, vol. 2 Washington and Cambridge, Massachusetts. pp. 428, 700, fig. 53.6,117.11.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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