Ritual wine warmer (jia) with masks (taotie)

Ceremonial vessel of the type “jia.” Smooth, dark green patina. Tip of one leg broken off. Inscription of one character inside bottom.

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Historical period(s)
early Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1250-1200 BCE
H x W x D: 52.8 × 28.6 × 30.5 cm (20 13/16 × 11 1/4 × 12 in) H x W x D (with wooden mount/base): 59 × 30.5 × 30.5 cm (23 1/4 × 12 × 12 in)
China, probably Henan province, Anyang
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Sackler Gallery 24a: Anyang: China's Ancient City of Kings
Metalwork, Vessel

Ritual vessel: jia

Anyang period (ca. 1300 - ca. 1050 BCE), China, inscription, mask, taotie, wine
Provenance research underway.

Ceremonial vessel of the type "jia." Smooth, dark green patina. Tip of one leg broken off. Inscription of one character inside bottom.


Inscribed on the bottom of the interior, Wu 戊 (“[Ancestor] Wu”).


Faulty molding or casting occasionally resulted in containers whose walls are too thin or legs are incomplete, as happened in this tall container.

Published References
  • Chin wen tsung chi. Taipei. vol. 6: p. 2383.
  • Shang Chou chin wen shi ch'eng. Multi-volume, Taipei. no. 4612.
  • Sueji Umehara. Shina kodo seikwa [Selected Relics of Ancient Chinese Bronzes from Collections in Europe and Asia]. 3 vols., Osaka. vol. 1: pl. 66.
  • Sueji Umehara. On the Shapes of the Bronze Vessels of Ancient China: An Archaeological Study. Toho Bunka Gakuin kyoto kenkyujo kenkyu hohoku, vol.15 Kyoto. pl. 28, no. 3.
  • Sueji Umehara. Amerika no hakubutsukan ni okeru Shina no kobijutsu [Ancient Chinese Art in North American Museums]. no. 16/17, June 1930. pl. 36.
  • Osvald Siren. A History of Early Chinese Art. 4 vols., London, 1929-1930. vol. 1, pl. 40.
  • Mary Augusta Nourse. The Four Hundred Million: A Short Story of the Chinese., 1st ed. Indianapolis and New York. opp. p. 483.
  • Hugo Munsterberg. A Short History of Chinese Art. New York, 1949. pl. 4.
  • 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. vol. 2: A 304.
  • Grace Dunham Guest, Archibald Gibson Wenley. Annotated Outlines of the History of Chinese Arts. Washington, 1949. p. 1.
  • Katheryn M. Linduff. The Incidence of Lead in Late Shang and Early Chou Ritual Vessels. vol. 19, no. 3 Philadelphia, Spring 1977. pp. 7-16, fig. 6.
  • Dagny Carter. Four Thousand Years of China's Art. New York. p. 25b.
  • 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. p. 25, pl. 4.
  • Sueji Umehara. Etude archaeologique sur le Pien-chin, ou serie de bronzes avec une table pour l'usage rituel dans le Chine antique. Memoire de Toho-bunka gakuin Kyoto Kenkyusho, vol. 2 Kyoto. p. 26, fig. 6.
  • Frank Forest Bunker. China and Japan. Philadelphia. p. 33.
  • Studies of the Bronze Chia-Vessel Excavated from Hsiao Tu'n & Hou Chia Chuang: Its Casting Process and Decorative Patterns. Archaeologia Sinica. New series, no. 3 Nanking, Taiwan. p. 55, pl. 4.
  • 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. 55, pl. 18.
  • Agnes E. Meyer. The Charles L. Freer Collection. vol. 12, no. 2 Brooklyn, August 1927. p. 66.
  • Jerry H. Bentley, Herbert F. Ziegler. Traditions and Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past., 5th ed. New York. p. 95.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Rutherford John Gettens, James Cahill, Noel Barnard. The Freer Chinese Bronzes. Oriental Studies Series, vol. 1, no. 7 Washington. cat. 20, p. 121.
  • Keng Jung. Shang chou i ch'i t'ung k'ao: Researches in Ceremonial Vessels of the Shang and Chou Dynasties. Peiping. pp. 239, 283, pl. 453.
  • Brian M. Fagan, Christopher R. DeCorse. In the Beginning: An Introduction to Archaeology. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. p. 282, fig. 11.14.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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