Figure of an entertainer

Historical period(s)
Eastern Zhou dynasty, 5th century BCE
H x W x D: 8.8 × 5.1 × 4.1 cm (3 7/16 × 2 × 1 5/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Sculpture


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

From at least 1949 to 1951
F. Low-Beer & Co., New York, N.Y., from at least May 9, 1949 [1]

From 1951
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Fritz Low-Beer (1906-1976) on June 27, 1951 [2]


[1] Fritz Low-Beer offered the figure to the Freer Gallery of Art for acquisition in his correspondence with Archibald G. Wenley, Director, Freer Gallery of Art, see F. Low-Beer to A. G. Wenley, May 9, 1949, copy in object file. It was presented together with the zither tuning key decorated with bear (F1951.7b) as two-part sculpture with bear and figure joined to look as if the figure was holding the bear aloft on a pole. The figure’s raised hand supporting the tuning key has been reshaped into a rectangular stump, presumably in the early decades of the 20th century. The sculpture was approved for purchase in June 1949, see document confirming the examination of the object and approval by the Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, the Commission of Fine Arts, and Katherine Rhoades, June 21, 1949, copy in object file.

[2] See Fritz Low-Beer & Co.’s invoice, dated June 27, 1951, where the object is listed with F1951.7b as “Bronze statuette of man with animal, Chinese, Loyang,” copy in object file. The acquisition was announced in “Chinese Art Recently Acquired by American Museums,” Archives of the Chinese Art Society of America VI (1952), fig. 10.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Fritz Low-Beer 1906-1976

Published References
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 11, vol. 1: p. 154.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 15.
  • Thomas Lawton. Chinese Art of the Warring States Period: Change and Continuity, 480-222 B.C. Washington, 1982-1983. cat. 37, p. 80.
  • Jenny F. So, Emma C. Bunker. Traders and Raiders on China's Northern Frontier. Exh. cat. Seattle, 1995. pp. 97-98.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Related Objects