Food vessel (yu)

Historical period(s)
Shang dynasty, ca. 12th-11th century BCE
H x W x D: 17.8 x 24.8 x 24.8 cm (7 x 9 3/4 x 9 3/4 in)
Credit Line
Gift of The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Vessel

Ritual vessel: yu

China, food, Shang dynasty (ca. 1600 - ca. 1050 BCE)

Joseph Homberg, Paris [1]

Sale, London, Sotheby and Co., Fine early Chinese ceramics, important bronzes and silverwork, European Mediæval ivories and enamels, July 19, 1949, lot 89 [2]

?-To 1970
Dennis M. Cohen (1891-1970) [3]

Mrs. Mary Cohen, ownership transferred to Mrs. Cohen after the death of her husband, Dennis M. Cohen in 1970. [4]

Sale, London, Sotheby and Co., Important Archaic Chinese Bronzes, Sculpture and Ceramics: The Property of Mrs. Mary Cohen, July 14, 1970, lot 56 [5]

To 1975
J.T. Tai & Co., Inc., New York, NY [6]

The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, purchased from J.T. Tai & Co., Inc., New York, NY [7]

From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation


[1] The 1949 Sotheby auction in London was for the property of Joseph Homberg. An online search was inconclusive. The closest possible match is Octave Marie Joseph Kerim Homberg, French diplomat, author and financier, former director of the Indo-China Bank. Also, a Dutch painting, sold at Sotheby's, New York on January 26, 2006, lot 8, lists a "Joseph Homberg, Paris" in its provenance.

[2] See Sotheby's London auction catalogue from July 19, 1949.

[3] See Sotheby's London auction catalogue from July 14, 1970. Dennis M. Cohen was a British collector. After his death ownership transferred to his wife, Mary M. Cohen. In 1970, her collection was auctioned at Sotheby's London, July 14, 1970 sale.

[4] See note 3.

[5] See note 3.

[6] The J.T. Tai & Co., dealer number is YT 5922. See invoice from J.T. Tai & Co., Inc., dated May 12, 1975, copy in object file.

[7] See note 6.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Mrs. Mary Cohen
Joseph Homberg
Sotheby's (London)
Dennis M. Cohen 1891-1970
J.T. Tai & Co. established in 1950
Arthur M. Sackler Foundation founded 1965

Published References
  • 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. cat. 99, pp. 508-509.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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