Wooden tray covered with lacquer

Historical period(s)
Eastern Zhou dynasty, 4th-3rd century BCE
Diam: 31.2 cm (12 5/16 in)
China, Hunan province, Changsha
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Container, Lacquer


China, Eastern Zhou dynasty (770 - 221 BCE), WWII-era provenance

From at least 1950 to 1954
F. Low-Beer & Co., New York, N.Y., from at least late 1950 [1]

From 1954
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Fritz Low-Beer (1906-1976) on June 2, 1954 [2]


[1] The object was sent by Fritz Low-Beer to the Freer Gallery of Art for acquisition consideration prior to January 1951, see document confirming the examination of the object and approval by the Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, the Commission of Fine Arts, and Katherine Rhoades in January, March, and April 1951, copy in object file. The location of Fritz Low-Beer’s company is noted in the document as New York. The collector and dealer Fritz Low-Beer had co-owned with Walter Hochstadter a gallery in New York in the 1940s, however, by the time the transaction took place he operated independently and resided in Rome.

[2] See Fritz Low-Beer & Co.’s invoice, dated June 2, 1954, where the object is listed as “Circular wooden plate lacquered dark brown and pinkish-red with painted decoration of scrolls and probably conventionalized birds done in red, brown, and yellow. Said to have been found in Ch’ang-sha. Late Chou or early Han period,” copy in object file. The acquisition was published in “Oriental Art Recently Acquired by American Museums,” Archives of the Chinese Art Society of America IX (1955), p. 82, fig. 10.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Fritz Low-Beer

Published References
  • Joan Hornby. Chinese Lacquerware in the National Museum of Denmark. .
  • Shang Ch'eng-tso. Ch'ang sha sh'u t'u ch'u ch'i ch'i t'u lu [An Illustrated Catalogue of Lacquers Excavated at Ch'ang-sha]. Shanghai. pls. 38-39.
  • Hugo Munsterberg. Der Ferne Osten. Kunst im Bild Baden-Baden. p. 30.
  • Oriental Art Recently Acquired by American Museums. vol. 9 Honolulu, 1955. p. 82.
  • Thomas Lawton. Chinese Art of the Warring States Period: Change and Continuity, 480-222 B.C. Washington, 1982-1983. cat. 137, p. 187.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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