Ritual food vessel (qui)

Historical period(s)
Western Zhou dynasty, 11th-10th century BCE
H x W x D (vessel): 17.1 × 33.1 × 23.7 cm (6 3/4 × 13 1/16 × 9 5/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Vessel

Ritual vessel

bird, casting, China, dragon, food, monster, ram, Western Zhou dynasty (ca. 1050 - 771 BCE), WWII-era provenance

Possibly the Qing dynasty imperial collection [1]

To 1915
Marcel Bing (1875-1920), Paris, to 1915 [2]

From 1915 to 1961
Eugene Meyer (1875-1959) and Agnes E. Meyer (1887-1970), Washington, DC and Mt. Kisco, NY, purchased jointly with Charles L. Freer (1854-1919) from Marcel Bing through C.T. Loo, Lai Yuan & Co., New York in December 1915 [3]

From 1968
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer, 1968 [4]


[1] A bronze qui with a very similar decoration and inscription has been included in the catalogue Xi Qing xujian, jiabian, one of the four imperial catalogues compiled during the reign of Emperor Qianlong, in years 1781/82-1793/94, see Xi Qing xujian, jiabian (Shanghai: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1911), vol. 6, p. 41a-b. See also Rong Geng, "Xi Qing jinwen zhenwei cunyi biao," Yanjing xuebao 5 (June 1929), p. 838. This bronze was possibly among the treasures taken from the Yuanmingyuan (Old Summer Palace) by French and English troops in 1860 or from the palace in Peking during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900.

[2] See correspondence between Charles Freer and Marcel Bing, dated November-December 1915, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, copy in object file. See also Thomas Lawton and Linda Merrill, Freer: A Legacy of Art (Washington, DC: Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1993), pp. 220-223, 226 (fig. 160).

[3] See C. T. Loo, Lai-Yuan & Co.'s invoice issued to Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Meyer on December 10, 1915, copy in object file. Shortly after the acquisition, the Meyers lent the bronze to an exhibition in Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, see S. C. Bosch Reitz, Catalogue of an Exhibition of Early Chinese Pottery and Sculpture, exh. cat. (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1916), cat. 336 (ill.).

[4] See Agnes Meyer's Deed of Gift, dated July 24, 1967, copy in object file.

Previous Owner(s)

Marcel Bing 1875 - 1920
Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer (1875-1959) and (1887-1970)

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum