From at least 1942 to ?
Huang Jun, Beijing. 
From ? to 1952
Robert Somerville, Chicago, Illinois. 
From 1952 to ?
James W. and Marilynn Alsdorf, Chicago, Illinois, purchased from Robert Somerville, Chicago, Illinois. 
From ? to 1991
Eskenazi Ltd, London, England. 
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Eskenazi Ltd, London, England. 
 According to document dated August 28, 1990, the bronze was published by Huang Jun in “Yehzhong pianyu,” 1942, vol. 3, plate 22. Huang was a connoisseur and collector in Beijing, and this volume reportedly illustrated bronzed that came from the Anyang excavations possibly in the 1930s. See memorandum dated Aug. 28, 1990, copy in object file, Collections Management Office.
 According to Eskenazi, Ltd, Jim Alsdorf acquired the object from Robert Somerville in April 9, 1952. See invoice from Eskenazi dated, Feb 21, 1991, copy in object file, Collections Management Office. See also receipt of payment from Robert Somerville to J.W. Alsdorf dated April 9, 1952, copy in object file, Collections Management Office.
 See note 2.
 Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920 file, Collections Management Office.
 See note 4.
- Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)
Huang Jun 1888-1944
Eskenazi Ltd. Founded 1923
Marilynn Alsdorf born 1926
The rectangular body is divided vertically down the middle of each of four sides with flanges, each side cast with a large taotie mask with borders above and below containing confronted dragons, one dragon on each side of the flanges. Those around the foot are above the arched openings. The cover is cast with taotie masks facing up. The knob is cast with taotie masks. There is an emblematic character on the inside bottom and one inside the cover; they are not identical. The vessel is covered with a green patina with red encrustations inside the lines of the design, possibly cinnabar.
Inscribed in the lid and on the bottom of the interior, Lu 冉 (盧) (“Way Station Officer [responsible for the king’s travels]”); the two inscriptions include dedications to different ancestors, Gui and Yi
- Published References
- Marilynn Alsdorf, J.V. Sewell. Chinese Art from the Collection of James W. and Marilyn Alsdorf. Chicago. pl. B1.
- Huang Jun. Yezhong pianyu. vol. 3, Beijing. p. 22.
- Max Loehr. Bronze Styles of the Anyang Period. vol. VII. p. 47, fig. 12.
- Robert W. Bagley. Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections: Volume 1 of Ancient Chinese Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections. vol. 1, Washington and Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1987. p. 434, fig. 77.13.
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
- Web Resources
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