Lidded ritual wine ewer (guang) with dragons, elephants, rabbits, birds, and fish


Historical period(s)
Late Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1200-1100 BCE
H x W x D (overall): 16.7 x 19.5 x 9.6 cm (6 9/16 x 7 11/16 x 3 3/4 in)
China, Henan province, Anyang
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Vessel

Ritual vessel

bird, casting, China, dragon, elephant, fish, rabbit, Shang dynasty (ca. 1600 - ca. 1050 BCE), wine, WWII-era provenance

In 1939
C.T. Loo & Company, New York from March 23, 1939 [1]

From 1939
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from C.T. Loo & Company on November 30, 1939 [2]


[1] See C. T. Loo's stockcard no. 81966: "Bronze wine vessel with cover, Chou," Frank Caro Archive, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, copy in object file. See also "List of objects owned by C. T. Loo & Co., New York [left] at the Gallery for examination," with annotation that the bronze was left by Loo at the Freer Gallery on May 14, 1939, in object file.

[2] See C. T. Loo's invoice, dated November 30, 1939, copy in object file.

Previous Owner(s)

C.T. Loo & Company active 1908-1950


The swelling body of this guang draws attention to the vessel’s shape and orderly design. Dragons fill spaces on the spout and lid, while fish, elephants, rabbits, and birds enliven the foot and neck. The handle might have been separately cast and attached with solder.

Published References
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Mr. R.J. Gettens, James Cahill, Noel Barnard. The Freer Chinese Bronzes. Oriental Studies Series, vol. 1, no. 7 Washington. cat. 42, p. 239.
  • compiled by the staff of the Freer Gallery of Art. A Descriptive and Illustrative Catalogue of Chinese Bronzes: Acquired During the Administration of John Ellerton Lodge. Oriental Studies Series, no. 3 Washington, 1946. pp. 6-7, 27, pl. 7-8.
  • Chen Mengjia. Yin Zhou qing tong qi fen lei tu lu (Yin-Chou ch'ing t'ung ch'i fen lei t'u lu). 2 vols., Dongjing. A 659.
  • Capolavori nei secoli: Enciclopedia di tutte i popoli in tutti i tempi. 12 vols., Milan, 1961 - 1964. p. 12, fig. c.
  • Dagny Carter. Four Thousand Years of China's Art. New York. p. 29, a.
  • Eleanor von Erdberg Consten. Kunst und Religion in Indien, China, und Japan. Geisteswissenschaften Heft 120 Cologne. pl. 12.
  • Helen Gardner, Horst de la Croix, Richard G. Tansey. Gardner's Art Through the Ages. 2 vols., , 7th ed. New York. fig. 12.1.
  • Rene Grousset. La Chine et son Art. Collection Ars et historia Paris. p. 16.
  • Rene Grousset. Chinese Art and Culture. New York. p. 16.
  • Daisy Lion-Goldschmidt Jean-Claude Moreau-Gobard. Chinese Art: Bronze, Jade, Sculpture, Ceramics. The Universe Library of Antique Art 4 vols., , 1st ed. London and New York. p. 63, pl. 22.
  • Smithsonian Institution. Report of the Secretary, 1940. Washington. p. 43, pl. 2.
  • Sueji Umehara. In-kyo (Yin hsu: Ancient Capital of the Shang Dynasty at An-yang). Tokyo. pl. 112 (1).
  • Mario Bussagli. Chinese Bronzes. London and New York. p. 45, pl. 18.
  • Daniel Shapiro. Ancient Chinese Bronzes: A Personal Appreciation. .
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum