Lidded square ritual wine vessel (fanghu) with painted decoration

Historical period(s)
Han dynasty, 206 BCE-220 CE
H x W: 17.8 x 10.9 cm (7 x 4 5/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 18: Art and Industry: China's Ancient Houma Foundry
Metalwork, Vessel

Ritual vessel: fanghu

casting, China, Han dynasty (206 BCE - 220 CE), painted, wine

To 1916
C. T. Loo, Lai-Yuan & Co., New York, to April 1, 1916 [1]

From 1916 to 1968
Eugene Meyer (1875-1959) and Agnes E. Meyer (1887-1970), Washington, DC, and Mt. Kisco, NY, purchased from C. T. Loo, Lai-Yuan & Co. on April 1, 1916 [2]

From 1968
Freer Gallery of Art, given by Agnes E. Meyer in 1968 [3]


[1] See C. T. Loo, Lai-Yuan & Co.’s invoice issued to Mrs. Eugene Meyer and dated February 29, 1916, where the bronze is listed as “Square bronze vase with cover, painted with polychrome floral designs,” copy in object file. A stamped note on the invoice states that the payment for the bronze was received by Loo on April 1, 1916. The invoice includes three other bronzes (see records for F1968. 32a-b, F1968.33, and F1968.34a-b) which with F1968.35a-b form a group probably made as a set to be used as mingqi (funerary objects). The four vessels reportedly came from Changsha, Hunan province, however, there is no certainty of their provenance, see Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Memorial Exhibition exh. cat. (Washington, DC: Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1971), pp. 28-29 (ill.) and Diane M. Nelson, “Bronze ‘Ming-ch’i’ Vessels with Painted Decoration: A Regional Study in Han Pictorialism,” Artibus Asiae 42, 2/3 (1980), pp. 147-8.

[2] See C. T. Loo, Lai-Yuan & Co.’s invoice, cited in note 1.

[3] See Agnes E. Meyer’s Deed of Gift, where the object is listed as no. 21 in the document’s Annex, dated July 24, 1967, copy in object file. The object was accessioned to the Freer Gallery’s collection in 1968.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer (1875-1959) and (1887-1970)
C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948

Published References
  • Thomas Lawton. Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Memorial Exhibition. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 14, pp. 28-29.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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