Kong Yiweng 孔翊翁 
Bunkio Matsuki (1867-1940), method of acquisition unknown 
Sale, New York, American Art Association, "Arms and armor of old Japan" February 8-10, 1906, lot 30 
Charles Lang Freer, purchased at American Art Association sale 
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer 
 According to the inscriptions on the screen, the work was made for Kong Yiweng 孔翊翁, a sobriquet for a man identified as Kong Zhenlai 孔貞來. He was a descendent of Confucius and served in the Qing dynasty as a government official with service in both military and civil posts. Yunan was one of many provinces in which he served. Huang Jingji, a fellow townsman and admirer of Kong Yiweng, wrote the encomium on the reverse of the screen. It is plausible that Huang Jingji was involved in the commission to create the screen to present as a gift to Kong, likely for an advanced-age birthday. It is unclear if the screen was made as a gift from only Huang, or more likely from several unnamed people
 A former Buddhist monk, Matsuki Bunkio (1867-1940) moved to the United States in 1888 and settled near Boston and restyled himself as Bunkio Matsuki. He became a dealer in Japanese antiquities, opening a gallery along Boston's fashionable Boylston Street. See note 1.
 See American Art Association, "Arms and Armor of Old Japan" [auction catalogue] (New York, February 8-10, 1906), lot 304. The object is described as "A superb work of art, incomparable in its importance. It was executed in 1672 (11th year of Kang- Hi) [sic; should be Kang-hsi] as a gift to the imperial Prince Yoku-wo-ko [sic; in Chinese Kong Yiweng, and he was not a prince], from his friends and admirers on his return to the capital from the governorship of the Province of Un-nan [Yunan]."
 See voucher No. 12, where the object is described as "One Chinese Palace Screen, 12 fold, No. 304 of Matsuki Catalogue of 1906," from Box 114, Folder 2, Charles Lang Freer Papers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, copy in object file.
 The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.
Research completed on August 11, 2022.
- Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)
Kong Yiweng Kong Yiweng 孔翊翁
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Bunkio Matsuki (C.L. Freer source) 1867-1940
- Published References
- Lacquer: An International History and Illustrated Survey. New York. title p., p. 61.
- W.G. de Kesel, G. Dhont. Coromandel Lacquer Screens. Ghent. pp. 49-49, ill. 31.
- David Ren. Chinese Lacquered Furniture. China. pp. 302-303.
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
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