Ritual wine container (Hu)

Historical period(s)
Eastern Zhou dynasty, 5th century BCE
H x W x D (overall): 46 x 32.1 x 31.8 cm (18 1/8 x 12 5/8 x 12 1/2 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Vessel

Ritual vessel: hu

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

From at least 1940 to 1948
C. T. Loo & Company, New York, NY [1]

1948 to 1953
C. T. Loo, INC., New York, NY by transfer from C. T. Loo & Company, NY [2]

1953 to 1961
C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York, NY by transfer from C. T. Loo, INC, NY [3]

1961 to 1964
Frank Caro Chinese Art, New York, NY from C. T. Loo Chinese Art, NY, mode of acquisition unknown [4]

From 1964 to 1987
Arthur M. Sackler, New York, NY purchased from Frank Caro, Chinese Art, New York, NY on 26 August 1964 [5]

From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C., gift of Arthur M. Sackler [6]


[1] Published in C. T. Loo & Co., Exhibition of Ancient Chinese Ritual Bronzes, The Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan) 18 October to 10 November 1940, cat. 44 (illustrated)

[2] In 1948, when C. T. Loo & Company lost direct access to trade in China, C. T. Loo formed the company C. T. Loo, INC. In 1950, C. T. Loo announced his retirement. Loo appointed his daughter, Janie Emanuel Loo as the head of the Paris branch of C. T. Loo & Company (C. T. Loo & Cie) and his associate, Frank Caro, as the head of the New York Branch, which operated as C. T. Loo Chinese Art. C. T. Loo, INC. was dissolved by the summer of 1953.

[3] See note 2. On September 1, 1952, C. T. Loo’s associate, Frank Caro (1904-1980) took over daily operations of the New York business. C. T. Loo, INC. was dissolved by the summer of 1953 and Caro operated as C. T. Loo Chinese Art. Loo continued to play a large role in the business, as he and Caro struck a deal in which profits made on Loo’s stock would be evenly divided and Loo would maintain the lease and rental payments on the company’s gallery space. When Caro assumed leadership, he re-inventoried the gallery stock, assigning new numbers, many of which began with “E.” This object was part of that inventory process; E 5002.

[4] In 1961, Loo and Caro’s agreement ended. C. T. Loo & Cie., Paris, France took control of C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York stock, which C. T. Loo added to the inventory before his death in 1957.See invoice from Frank Caro, Chinese Art to Dr. Arthur M. Sackler and dated “Auust 26, 1964,” E-5002: “Tall bronze HU. Ht: 18 ins. (two large ring handles) four small rings at neck.” Copy located in accession file.

[5] See note 4.

[6] Pursuant to the agreement between Arthur M. Sackler and the Smithsonian Institution, dated July 28, 1982, legal title of the donated objects was transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on September 11, 1987.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987
C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948
C.T. Loo, INC. ca. 1948-no later than July 1953
C.T. Loo Chinese Art 1953 - 1961
Frank Caro Chinese Art 1962-1980

Published References
  • Exhibition of Chinese Arts, Special Sale. Exh. cat. New York, 1941-1942. no. 70.
  • Detroit Institute of Arts. An Exhibition of Ancient Chinese Ritual Bronzes. Exh. cat. New York. no. 44.
  • et al. Asian Art in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Inaugural Gift. Washington, 1987. cat. 153a, pp. 230-231.
  • Jenny F. So. Eastern Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections. Ancient Chinese Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, vol. 3 New York, 1995. cat. 42, pp. 248-251.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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