Tonying and Company, New York, to 1930 
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Tonying and Company, New York, in 1930 
 Object file, undated folder sheet note. See also Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file, Collections Management Office.
 See note 1.
- Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)
Tonying and Company established 1902
Ceremonial vessel with cover, type fangyi. White bronze patinated with azurite (chiefly inside), malachite and cuprite. Two inscriptions in ancient seal script.
1. Two inscriptions in ancient seal script. See original folder sheet note 3 (A.G.W., 1944).
2. Inscribed in the lid and on the bottom of the interior by Zuoce Ling 作冊令 (“Recorder Ling”)
Despite the beauty of its decoration, with elaborate taotie patterns and animal motifs rendered in different levels of relief, this vessel is most famous for its lengthy cast inscription of 187 characters. The text, one of the longest from the early Zhou period, is repeated inside the vessel and the lid. A court scribe named Ling might have composed the text himself; the cast inscription resembles the rhythm and flow of calligraphy. If so, he could have been following a family tradition: he was a younger relative of Da, who was responsible for the fangding (F1950.7) in the Freer collection.
The vessel commemorates three days of administrative meetings and ritual ceremonies held in Chengzhou during the reign of Zhao, the fourth Zhou monarch. Mingbao, the son of the Duke of Zhou and a nephew of the Taibao, led the events, which began with a massive gathering of court and regional officials and concluded with offerings of animal sacrifices. Afterwards, in appreciation of their efforts, Mingbao awarded ritual wine, “metal” (probably bronze), and oxen to Ling and his colleague Captain Kang, with the order that the gifts be used for ritual purposes.
- Published References
- Luo Zhenyu. A research into. vol. 5, no. 3 Kyoto, October 1929. opp. p. 480.
- Luo Zhenyu. Chen sung tang chi ku i wen [Ancient Inscriptions in the Collection of Lo Chen-yu]. multi-vol., . vol. 4: p. 49.
- William Watson. Ancient Chinese Bronzes. The Arts of the East London. pl. 33a.
- Benjamin Rowland, Laurence Sickman, H. G. Henderson, Robert Treat Paine, Richard Ettinghausen, Eric Schroeder. The University Prints. Oriental Art Series O 4 vols. Newton, Massachusetts, 1938-1941. Section 2: Early Chinese Art, pl. 99.
- 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. 42, fig. 1.
- Sueji Umehara. Shina kodo seikwa [Selected Relics of Ancient Chinese Bronzes from Collections in Europe and Asia]. 3 vols., Osaka. fig. 4, pl.10-11.
- Hai-Po Sun. Ho-nan chi chin t'u chih sheng lu [Illustrated Catalogue of Honan Bronzes]. Peking. pls. 36a-b, 37.
- Bernhard Karlgren. Yin and Chou in Chinese Bronzes. no. 8, 1955 article reprint. Stockholm. pl. 18, B24.
- Osvald Siren. Kinas Konst Under Tre Artusenden. 2 vols., Stockholm, 1942-1943. vol. 1: pl. 8.
- Shang Chou chin wen shi ch'eng. Multi-volume, Taipei. cat. 5531.
- Sekai kokogaku taikei [Archaeology of the World]. 16 vols., Tokyo, 1958-1962. vol. 6: p. 73, fig. 198.
- Sekai bijutsu zenshu [A Complete Collection of World Art]. 40 vols., Tokyo, F1951-1953. cat. 74, vol. 2.
- Mizuno Seiichi. In Shu seidoki to tama [Bronzes and Jades of Ancient China]. Tokyo. pl. 104, fig. 51.
- Franz Michael. China Through the Ages: History of a Civilization. Boulder and London. fig. 6a.
- Bernhard Karlgren. Some New Bronzes in the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities. no. 24 Stockholm. fig. 13.
- Keng Jung. Shang Chou i chi'i t'ung k'ao [The Bronzes of Shang and Chou]. Yenching Journal of Chinese Studies, no. 17 Beijing. vol. 1: p. 409, vol. 2, p. 314, fig. 603.
- Keng Jung, Chang Wei. Yin Chou ch'ing t'ung ch'i t'ung lun [A Survey of Shang-Chou Bronzes]. Peking. cat. 167.
- Deane Heller, David Heller. The Nation's Art Treasures: Press Release., October 30, 1954. .
- Dr. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy. Introduction to the Art of Eastern Asia. Chicago, March 1932. opp. p. 32.
- Higuchi Takayasu. Chugoku seidoki hyakusen., 1 hen. Tokyo. pl. 52.
- Chugoku bijutsu [Chinese Art in Western Collections]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1972-1973. vol. 4: fig. 43.
- Chin wen tsung chi. Taipei. vol. 6: pp. 2738-2739.
- Noel Barnard. Bronze Casting and Bronze Alloys in Ancient China. Monumenta serica, no. 14 Canberra. pls. 1, 23.
- 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 646.
- 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. vol. 2a, p. 63, vol. 2b, fig. 80, 40.9.
- Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 9, vol. 1: p. 154.
- Grace Dunham Guest, Archibald Gibson Wenley. Annotated Outlines of the History of Chinese Arts. Washington, 1949. p. 3.
- 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. 4-6, 42-43, pls. 21-22.
- Freer Gallery of Art. The Freer Gallery of Art. Washington. p. 6.
- Fu Shen, Glenn D. Lowry, Ann Yonemura, Thomas Lawton. From Concept to Context: Approaches to Asian and Islamic Calligraphy. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 1, pp. 20-21.
- Higuchi Takayasu. Kijin to ningen no Chugoku. Tokyo. pp. 26-27.
- The Eternal Army: The Terracotta Soldiers of the First Emperor. Vercelli and New York. p. 29.
- Michael Sullivan. The Arts of China., 3rd ed. Berkeley. p. 35.
- Moruo Guo. Yin Chou ch'ing t'ung ch'i ming wen yen-chiu/Yin Zhou qing tong qi ming wen yan jiu: A study of the inscriptions on the bronzes of the Yin and Chou dynasties. vol. 1, Shanghai. p. 37 ff.
- The Horizon Book of the Arts of China. New York. p. 45.
- Beasts & Beauty in Bronze., February 10, 1958. p. 84.
- William Watson. Early Civilization in China. Library of the early civilizations London, 1966. p. 95.
- Walter Karp. The Smithsonian Institution: An Establishment for the Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge Among Men. Washington. p. 114.
- Herman Floris Eduard Visser. Are There Other Projections of Flanges, besides Karlgren's "Hook Projections" which are Characteristic of Yin-Chou Bronzes? vol. 16, no. 5 Amsterdam, May 1939. p. 158, fig. 3.
- W. A C. H. Dobson. Early Archaic Chinese: A Descriptive Grammar. Toronto. pp. 195-200.
- Dr. John Alexander Pope, Rutherford John Gettens, James Cahill, Noel Barnard. The Freer Chinese Bronzes. Oriental Studies Series, vol. 1, no. 7 Washington. cat. 38, p. 213.
- 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. 335-337, fig. 23.
- Edwards Park. Treasures from the Smithsonian Institution., 1st ed. Washington and New York. p. 338.
- Mizuno Seiichi, Yukio Kobayashi. Zukai kokogaku jiten [Dictionary of Archaeology]. Tokyo. p. 1039.
- Wu Qichang. Study of the Inscription on the "Ts'e i". Peking, June 1931. pp. 1661-1732.
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
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