Ritual wine vessel (zun)

Historical period(s)
Shang dynasty, ca. 12th-11th century BCE
Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
H x Diam: 29.2 × 22 cm (11 1/2 × 8 11/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Transfer from the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1978.29
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Vessel
Type

Ritual vessel: zun

Keywords
casting, China, mask, Shang dynasty (ca. 1600 - ca. 1050 BCE), wine, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

From 1939 to 1942
C. T. Loo & Company, New York, from May 1939 [1]

From 1942 to 1951
Eduard von der Heydt (1882-1964), Ascona, Switzerland, purchased from C. T. Loo & Company on July 6, 1942 and lent to the Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo, New York [2]

1951
US Government vested Eduard von der Heydt's property under the provisions of "Trading with the Enemy Act" by vesting order, dated August 21, 1951 [3]

From 1964 to 1973
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, from March 1964 [4]

From 1973
Freer Gallery of Art, transferred from National Museum of Natural History in 1973 [5]

Notes:

[1] See C. T. Loo's stockcard no. 86418: "Tsun. Decorated by two bands. In the center two t'ao t'ieh masks between strait flanges, and on the lower part a band of confronted stylized dragons and flanges smooth grey green patina Early Chou," C. T. Loo & Frank Caro Archive, Musée Guimet, Paris, copy in object file.

[2] See C. T. Loo's stockcard cited in note 1. According to an annotation on the stockcard, the bronze was sent by Loo directly to the Buffalo Museum of Science. See also "Catalogue of the Von der Heydt Loan to the Buffalo Museum of Science: Loan Material from Baron Von der Heydt, as of March 1949," where the bronze is documented under an inventory card no. 42102-a, copy in object file. According to this document, the bronze was purchased in June 1942.

[3] See Vesting Order No. 18344, August 21, 1951, Office of Alien Property, Department of Justice. Eduard von der Heydt exhausted all the legal remedies against the forfeiture of his property provided to him by the Trading with the Enemy Act.

[4] Attorney General, Robert Kennedy authorized transfer of the von der Heydt collection from Buffalo Museum of Science to the custody of the Smithsonian Institution in March 1964. The collection was transferred to the National Museum of Natural History. In 1966 US Congress legislated transferring the title of the von der Heydt collection to the Smithsonian Institution, see Public Law 89-503, 80 Stat. 287, July 18, 1966. The bronze was accessioned under no. 448094, see "Smithsonian Office of Anthropology Accession Data," copy in object file.

[5] The bronze was among 13 objects in the von der Heydt collection transferred from National Museum of Natural History to the Freer Gallery of Art, see "Smithsonian Institution Intramural Transfer of Specimens" memorandum, dated January 29, 1973, copy in object file. The bronze was accessioned to the Freer Gallery Study Collection under no. FSC-B-86 and subsequently transferred to the permanent collection in August 1978.

Previous Owner(s)

National Museum of Natural History, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution
Baron Eduard von der Heydt 1882-1964
C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948

Published References
  • An Exhibition of Chinese Art. Exh. cat. New York, November 1, 1941-April 20, 1942. cat. 34.
  • Julia Murray. A Decade of Discovery: Selected Acquisitions 1970-1980. Exh. cat. Washington, 1979. cat. 6, p. 16.
  • The Best of Fifty. Cincinnati. p. 22.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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