Lidded ritual wine container (you) in the form of two owls

citation

Historical period(s)
Middle Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1200-1100 BCE
Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
H x W: 24 x 21.3 cm (9 7/16 x 8 3/8 in)
Geography
China, Henan province, Anyang
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1942.14a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Vessel
Type

Ritual vessel

Keywords
Anyang period (ca. 1300 - ca. 1050 BCE), bird, casting, China, Shang dynasty (ca. 1600 - ca. 1050 BCE), WWII-era provenance
Provenance

From 1941 to 1942
C.T. Loo & Company, New York in November 1941 [1]

From 1942
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from C.T. Loo & Company on July 24, 1942 [2]

Notes:

[1] See C. T. Loo's stockcard no. 87515: "Bronze jar with cover SHANG," Frank Caro Archive, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, copy in object file. The vessel was brought by Loo to the Freer Gallery for examination on March 19, 1942.

[2] See C. T. Loo's invoice, dated July 24, 1942, copy in object file.

Previous Owner(s)

C.T. Loo & Company active 1908-1950

Label

This container was intended to hold ritual wine. Its squat shape accommodates a pair of owls standing back to back on short legs. Scale patterns on the legs, bodies, wings, and tails make the birds stand out from the background. On the lid, the owls’ heads have large, round eyes, down-turned beaks, small ears, and large horns. They are recognizable enough to be identified as Bubo bubo, the eagle owl of Europe and Asia (a relative of the great horned owl).

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum