One of a set of bells (bo) with felines and dragons

Historical period(s)
late Spring and Autumn period, Eastern Zhou dynasty, ca. 550-500 BCE
H x W x D: 20.5 x 12.8 x 10.4 cm (8 1/16 x 5 1/16 x 4 1/8 in)
China, Shanxi province, State of Jin, Houma foundry
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Musical Instrument


cat, China, dragon, Eastern Zhou dynasty (770 - 221 BCE), Spring and Autumn period (770 - 476 BCE)

Dr. Otto Burchard (1892-1965), Berlin [1]

Yamanaka & Company, New York [2]

From at least 1933 to 1941
Mrs. Christian R. Holmes (1871-1941), New York and "The Chimneys," Sands Point, Port Washington, Long Island, purchased from Yamanaka & Company by at least 1933 [3]

From 1941 to 1963
Holmes Foundation, New York [4]

Sale, New York, Parke-Bernet Galleries, Important Chinese Art: Early Dynastic Bronzes, Silver and Gold...Collected by the Late Bettie F. Holmes (Mrs. Christian R. Holmes), New York, Sold by Order of the Holmes Foundation, November 14-15, 1963, lot 255 (ill.): "Wrought Silver-Bronze Bell (Chung)."

To 1987
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), New York

From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Dr. Arthur M. Sackler in 1987 [5]


[1] According to Osvald Sirén, A History of Chinese Art (London: E. Benn Ltd., 1929), pl. 107 A. Sirén noted that at the time of publication the object had already left the Burchard collection.

[2] According to Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, sale cat., Important Chinese Art: Early Dynastic Bronzes, Silver and Gold...Collected by the Late Bettie F. Holmes (Mrs. Christian R. Holmes), New York, Sold by Order of the Holmes Foundation (New York, November 14-15, 1963), lot 255 (ill.).

[3] Umehara Sueji, Shina-kodo Seikwa (Selected Relics of Ancient Chinese Bronzes from Collections in Europe and America): Part I Bronze Vases vol. 3 (Osaka: Yamanaka & Co., 1933), pl. 201. Mrs. Holmes lent the bell to International Exhibition of Chinese Art at Royal Academy of Fine Arts in London in 1935-36, see Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Chinese Art, exh. cat. (London: Royal Academy of Arts, November 1935-March 7, 1936), cat. 139 (ill.) and subsequently to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, see Chinese Bronzes of the Shang (1766-1122 B. C.) through the T’ang Dynasty (A.D. 618-906) (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 19-November 27, 1938), cat. 174 (ill.). In the 1963 Parke-Bernet auction catalogue cited in note 2, the object is listed as purchased by Mrs. Holmes from Yamanaka & Company.

[4] Mrs. Holmes had established the Holmes Foundation to continue her charity work after her death.

[5] Pursuant to the agreement between Arthur M. Sackler and the Smithsonian Institution, dated July 28, 1982, legal title of the donated objects was transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on September 11, 1987.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Parke-Bernet Galleries
Holmes Foundation
Mrs. Christian R. Holmes 1871-1941
Dr. Otto C. Burchard 1892-1965
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987
Yamanaka and Co. 1917-1965

Published References
  • Osvald Siren. A History of Early Chinese Art. 4 vols., London, 1929-1930. vol. 1, pl. 107.
  • Dawn Ho Delbanco. Art from Ritual: Ancient Chinese Bronze Vessels from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 63, pp. 150-151.
  • et al. Asian Art in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Inaugural Gift. Washington, 1987. cat. 150, p. 226.
  • 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. cat. 76, pp. 368-371.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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