Ritual wine container (hu) with dragon interlace

Historical period(s)
Middle Eastern Zhou dynasty, ca. 5th century BCE
H x Diam: 44.8 × 26.6 cm (17 5/8 × 10 1/2 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Vessel

Ritual vessel: hu

China, Eastern Zhou dynasty (770 - 221 BCE)

From at least 1953 to 1957
F. Low-Beer & Co. New York, N.Y., Rome, Italy, and Lac Champex (Valais), Switzerland, from at least October 1953 [1]

From 1957
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Fritz Low-Beer (1906-1976) on July 18, 1957 [2]


[1] Fritz Low-Beer offered to bring the bronze to the Freer Gallery for acquisition consideration in his correspondence with Archibald G. Wenley, Director, Freer Gallery of Art, see F. Low-Beer to A. G. Wenley, October 22, 1953, copy in object file. In the same letter, Low-Beer remarked that the object “must have been excavated quite some time ago.” Low-Beer’s various addresses in U.S., Italy and Switzerland appear on official documentation of the object.

[2] See Fritz Low-Beer’s invoice, dated July 18, 1957, where the object is listed as “Bronze vessel, type hu, Chinese, 5th century B.C.”, copy in object file.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Fritz Low-Beer 1906-1976

Published References
  • Daniel Shapiro. Ancient Chinese Bronzes: A Personal Appreciation. .
  • Martin J. Powers. Pattern and Person: Ornament, Society, and Self in Classical China. Harvard East Asia Monographs, no. 262 Cambridge, Massachusetts. .
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 28, vol. 1: pp. 155-6.
  • Thomas Lawton. Chinese Art of the Warring States Period: Change and Continuity, 480-222 B.C. Washington, 1982-1983. cat. 1, p. 27.
  • Jenny F. So. Eastern Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections. Ancient Chinese Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, vol. 3 New York, 1995. p. 39, fig. 53.
  • Kin Sum (Sammy) Li, Society for the Study of Early China. What the Elites Actually Wore in 500-300 B.C.E. China: Evidence from Textiles, Bamboo, and Bronzes. Vol. 43 Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2020. p. 179, fig. 12.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Rutherford John Gettens, James Cahill, Noel Barnard. The Freer Chinese Bronzes. Oriental Studies Series, vol. 1, no. 7 Washington. cat. 97, p. 497.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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