Wine vessel (fangyi) with lid

Historical period(s)
Shang dynasty, ca. 1300-1250 BCE
Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
H x W x D: 23 x 10.4 x 13 cm (9 1/16 x 4 1/8 x 5 1/8 in)
Geography
China, Henan province
Credit Line
Purchase — funds provided by Mr. T. T. Tsui, Hong Kong and the Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1991.3a-c
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Vessel
Type

Ritual vessel: fangyi

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

From at least 1942 to ?
Huang Jun, Beijing. [1]

From ? to 1952
Robert Somerville, Chicago, Illinois. [2]

From 1952 to ?
James W. and Marilynn Alsdorf, Chicago, Illinois, purchased from Robert Somerville, Chicago, Illinois. [3]

From ? to 1991
Eskenazi Ltd, London, England. [4]

From 1991
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Eskenazi Ltd, London, England. [5]

Notes:

[1] According to document dated August 28, 1990, the bronze was published by Huang Jun in “Yehzhong pianyu,” 1942, vol. 3, plate 22. Huang was a connoisseur and collector in Beijing, and this volume reportedly illustrated bronzed that came from the Anyang excavations possibly in the 1930s. See memorandum dated Aug. 28, 1990, copy in object file, Collections Management Office.

[2] According to Eskenazi, Ltd, Jim Alsdorf acquired the object from Robert Somerville in April 9, 1952. See invoice from Eskenazi dated, Feb 21, 1991, copy in object file, Collections Management Office. See also receipt of payment from Robert Somerville to J.W. Alsdorf dated April 9, 1952, copy in object file, Collections Management Office.

[3] See note 2.

[4] Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920 file, Collections Management Office.

[5] See note 4.

Previous Owner(s)

Robert Somerville
Huang Jun 1888-1944
Eskenazi Ltd. Founded 1923
Marilynn Alsdorf born 1926

Published References
  • Marilynn Alsdorf, J.V. Sewell. Chinese Art from the Collection of James W. and Marilyn Alsdorf. Chicago. pl. B1.
  • Huang Jun. Yezhong pianyu. vol. 3, Beijing. p. 22.
  • Max Loehr. Bronze Styles of the Anyang Period. vol. VII. p. 47, fig. 12.
  • Robert W. Bagley. Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections: Volume 1 of Ancient Chinese Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections. vol. 1, Washington and Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1987. p. 434, fig. 77.13.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.