Ritual wine container (you) with dragons, birds, and bovine heads

Ceremonial vessel with a cover; type yu. Surface: a green patina, with areas of brownish red. Decoration: in relief.

Historical period(s)
late Anyang period, or early Western Zhou period, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1050 BCE
H x W x D: 50.8 × 32.1 × 35.9 cm (20 × 12 5/8 × 14 1/8 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 23a: Anyang: China's Ancient City of Kings
Metalwork, Vessel

Ritual vessel: you

Anyang period (ca. 1300 - ca. 1050 BCE), bird, buffalo, China, cicada, wine

To 1930
C. T. Loo & Company, New York to 1930 [1]

From 1930
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from C. T. Loo & Company, New York in 1930 [2]


[1] Object file, undated folder sheet note. See also Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file, Collections Management Office.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948


Ceremonial vessel with a cover; type yu. Surface: a green patina, with areas of brownish red. Decoration: in relief.

Published References
  • 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. pl. 28.
  • William Watson. China Before the Han Dynasty. Ancient Peoples and Places, vol. 23 New York. fig. 31.
  • William Watson. The Art of Dynastic China. New York, 1981. ill. 239.
  • Sueji Umehara. Shina kokogaku ronko [Studies in Chinese Archaeology]. Showa 13 Tokyo, 1938-1940. pl. 35, fig. 3.
  • 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. 15, fig. 1.
  • Sueji Umehara. Shina kodo seikwa [Selected Relics of Ancient Chinese Bronzes from Collections in Europe and Asia]. 3 vols., Osaka. vol. 1: pl. 71.
  • Sekai bijutsu zenshu [A Complete Collection of World Art]. 40 vols., Tokyo, F1951-1953. cat. 88, vol. 2.
  • Keng Jung. Shang chou i ch'i t'ung k'ao: Researches in Ceremonial Vessels of the Shang and Chou Dynasties. Peiping. vol. 2: pl. 319.
  • Keng Jung, Chang Wei. Yin Chou ch'ing t'ung ch'i t'ung lun [A Survey of Shang-Chou Bronzes]. Peking. cat. 175.
  • Carl Hentze. Bronzegerat, Kultbauten: Religion im ältesten China der Shang-Zeit. 2 vols., Antwerp. pl. 118.
  • Hai wai i chen [Chinese Art in Overseas Collections]. Taipei, 1985. vol. 2: p. 90.
  • Helen Gardner, Horst de la Croix, Richard G. Tansey. Gardner's Art Through the Ages. 2 vols., , 7th ed. New York. vol. 1: fig. 12.2.
  • 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 591.2, vol. 1, fig. 16.
  • Sueji Umehara. Sensei-sho Hokei-ken shutsudo no daini no henkin [Second set of ritual vessels, Pen-chin from Pao-chi-hsien, Shan-hsi province]. vol. 1. pp. 1-15.
  • Sueji Umehara. Kyosei-sho Hokei-ken shutsudo no daini no henkin [The Second Set of Ritual Vessels "pen-chin" from Pao-chi-hsien, Shan-hsi Province]. vol. 1 Kyoto, July 1959. pp. 1-15, pl. 4.
  • Grace Dunham Guest, Archibald Gibson Wenley. Annotated Outlines of the History of Chinese Arts. Washington, 1949. p. 4.
  • 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. 5, 6, 55, pl. 29.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 14.
  • Peter C. Swann. Art of China, Korea, and Japan. New York. p. 21, fig. 13.
  • Meng-chia Ch'en. Style of Chinese Bronzes. vol. 1 Honolulu, 1945-1946. pp. 36-37, pl. 3, fig. 16.
  • Kodai Chugoku [Ancient China]. Sekai rekishi shirizu, vol. 3 Tokyo. p. 194.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Rutherford John Gettens, James Cahill, Noel Barnard. The Freer Chinese Bronzes. Oriental Studies Series, vol. 1, no. 7 Washington. cat. 50, p. 285.
  • Virginia Kane. The Chronological Significance of the Inscribed Ancestor Dedication in the Periodization of Shang Bronze Vessels. vol. 35, pt. 4 Washington and Zurich. pp. 335-370.
  • Alfred Salmony. Chou-bronzen der Freer Gallery in Washington. vol. 11, no. 18 Munich, November 1936. p. 357.
  • Jessica Rawson. Western Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections. Ancient Chinese Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, vol. 2 Washington and Cambridge, Massachusetts. p. 364, 375, fig. 38.4, 40.7.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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