Basin (jian) with dragon interlace

Li-yu type.

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Historical period(s)
Middle Eastern Zhou dynasty, ca. 500-450 BCE
H x W: 22.8 x 51.7 cm (9 x 20 3/8 in)
China, Henan province, Huixian
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 18: Art and Industry: China's Ancient Houma Foundry
Metalwork, Vessel

Ritual vessel: jian

China, dragon, Eastern Zhou dynasty (770 - 221 BCE)

Excavated in Huixian, Henan province, China in 1938 [1]

From 1938 to 1939
C. T. Loo & Company, New York from at least December 30, 1938 [2]

From 1939
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from C. T. Loo & Company on February 3, 1939 [3]


[1] According to Rong Geng, Shang Zhou yiqi tongkao (Beijing: Harvard-Yenching Institute, 1941), vol. 1, p. 470 and vol. 2, pl. 874.

[2] See "List of the objects owned by C. T. Loo, New York [and left by him] at the Gallery for examination on December 30, 1938," copy in object file.

[3] See C. T. Loo's invoice, dated February 3, 1939, copy in object file. The object is dated in the invoice to late Chou dynasty, 5th century B.C.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948


Li-yu type.

Published References
  • Zusetsu sekai bunkashi taikei [Cultural History of the World]. 27 vols., Tokyo, 1958-1961. Vol. 15: p. 28, fig. 23.
  • George W. Weber Jr. The Ornament of Late Chou Bronzes: A Method of Analysis. New Brunswick. pl. 8, cover.
  • William Watson. The Art of Dynastic China. New York, 1981. ill. 261.
  • William Watson. Ancient Chinese Bronzes. The Arts of the East London. pl. 60a.
  • Jenny F. So. Bronze Styles of the Eastern Zhou Period. Ann Arbor. pl. 33.
  • Smithsonian Institution. Report of the Secretary, 1939. Washington. pl. 1.
  • Osvald Siren. Kinas Konst Under Tre Artusenden. 2 vols., Stockholm, 1942-1943. vol. 1: pl. 42 b.
  • Regina L. Shoolman, Charles E. Slatkin. The Enjoyment of Art in America: A Survey of the Permanent Collections of Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics & Decorative Arts in American and Canadian Museums: Being an Introduction to the Masterpieces of Art from Prehistoric to Modern Times. Philadelphia and New York. pl. 138.
  • Shang Chou chin wen shi ch'eng. Multi-volume, Taipei. cat. 7657.
  • Sekai bijutsu zenshu [A Complete Collection of World Art]. 40 vols., Tokyo, F1951-1953. cat. 80, vol. 2.
  • Mizuno Seiichi. In Shu seidoki to tama [Bronzes and Jades of Ancient China]. Tokyo. pl. 129.
  • 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. 2, p. 460, vol. 1,p. 470, fig. 874.
  • Keng Jung, Chang Wei. Yin Chou ch'ing t'ung ch'i t'ung lun [A Survey of Shang-Chou Bronzes]. Peking. cat. 272.
  • Chugoku bijutsu [Chinese Art in Western Collections]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1972-1973. vol. 4: fig. 70.
  • Chin wen tsung chi. Taipei. vol. 9: p. 3770.
  • Ludwig Bachhofer. A Short History of Chinese Art. New York. pl. 30.
  • 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 840.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 29, vol. 1: p. 156.
  • 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. 4, 56, pl. 30.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 17.
  • Thomas Lawton. Chinese Art of the Warring States Period: Change and Continuity, 480-222 B.C. Washington, 1982-1983. cat. 2, p. 28.
  • Nicole de Bisscop, W.G. de Kesel. Chinees Lakwerk. Zutphen. p. 40.
  • Caroline Blunden, Mark Elvin. Cultural Atlas of China. New York. p. 78.
  • William Willetts. Foundations of Chinese Art from Neolithic Pottery to Modern Architecture. New York, 1965. p. 117, fig. 87.
  • Barbara W. Keyser. Decor Replication in Two Late Chou Bronze "Chien". vol. 11 Washington and Ann Arbor. pp. 127-162, see remarks.
  • The Legacy of China. Oxford. p. 215, fig. 8.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Rutherford John Gettens, James Cahill, Noel Barnard. The Freer Chinese Bronzes. Oriental Studies Series, vol. 1, no. 7 Washington. cat. 94, p. 479.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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