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Covered Wine Vessel (fang lei) with Design of Zoomorphic Masks and Animal-Headed Handles

Covered Wine Vessel (fang lei) with Design of Zoomorphic Masks and Animal-Headed Handles

Covered Wine Vessel (fang lei) with Design of Zoomorphic Masks and Animal-Headed Handles

Covered Wine Vessel (fang lei) with Design of Zoomorphic Masks and Animal-Headed Handles

Date: late 11th century BC

Culture: Chinese

Dynasty: Western Zhou dynasty, 1050–771 BC

Medium: bronze
Dimensions:
24 5/8 x 14 5/8 x 10 3/8 in. (62.5 x 37.1 x 26.4 cm)
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object Number: 2:1941a,b
Place made:China, Shaanxi province, Baoji, Daijiawan
Classification: METALWORK
Current Location:On View, Gallery 233
Notes:The sharp hooks, spurs, and spikes bristling from the body of this extraordinary sacrificial bronze give a sculptural force to its impressive size and architectonic structure. The vessel is further ornamented with zoomorphic masks (taotie) and low-relief dragons in distinct registers arranged in a highly symmetrical decorative order. The horizontal orientation of the ornamental bands achieves a measured, visual balance that gives the work a stateliness to complement its visually aggressive character. The body of this wine vessel is distinguished by an unusual double taotie on each side. A very rare inscription of a single character may relate to the royal grant of land to a noble.

Provenance- 1927
Reportedly excavated at Daijiawan, Baoji, Shaanxi province, China

by 1931 - 1941
C. T. Loo & Co.
[C. T. Loo (1880–1957)], Paris, France and New York, NY, USA] [1]

1941 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from C. T. Loo [2]


Notes:
[1] The earliest known exhibition of this object was at the "Exhibition of Chinese, Indian and Cambodian Art" from the collection of C. T. Loo, held in the premises of the Wildenstein Gallery, 647 Fifth Avenue, New York, November 9–21, 1931. The object was published in the accompanying catalogue, C. T. Loo & Co., Exhibition of Chinese, Indian and Cambodian Art Formed by C. T. Loo (Paris: Hélio & Offset Des Flandres, 1931), p. 8, cat. no. 5 (catalogue entry), and pl. I (halftone illustration). According to a letter from Professor W. Perceval Yetts (1878–1957) dated December 24, 1946, the vessel was exhibited in London in 1939. In October 1940, the vessel was lent by C. T. Loo & Co. to the Detroit Institute of Arts, in an exhibition titled "An Exhibition of Ancient Chinese Ritual Bronzes Loaned by C. T. Loo & Co." It then traveled as part of the exhibition to the Saint Louis Art Museum (then known as the City Art Museum of St. Louis) [SLAM document files].

[3] Invoice from C. T. Loo & Co. dated February 14, 1941 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, January 9, 1941.
Exhibition History
Title: The Rathbone Years: Masterpieces acquired for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1955-1972 and for The Saint Louis Art Museum, 1940-1955
Date: June 8, 1972 - October 8, 1972
Venue: MFABoston

Title: Ancient Chinese Ritual Bronzes from the Collection of Mr. C. T. Loo of New York
Date: October 18 – November 10, 1940
Venue: The Detroit Institute of Arts

Title: Ancient Chinese Bronzes
Date: November 4, 1997 – May 17, 1998
Venue: SLAM

Title: Ritual Vessels of Bronze Age China
Date: October 10 – December 15, 1968
Venue: Asia House Gallery

Title: Treasures from the East: Asian Art from the Collection
Date: September 25–November 14, 1982
Venue: SLAM

Title: Forty Masterpieces from the Collections of the City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Date: October 1947
Venue: City Art Museum of Saint Louis

Publication History
Title: Handbook of the Collections: The City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Year Published: 1953

Title: Saint Louis Art Museum: Handbook of the Collection
Year Published: 2004

Title: Notable Works of Art Now on the Market: Advertisement Supplement to The Burlington Magazine, December 1935
Periodical Title: The Burlington Magazine
Edition: no. 393, December, advertisement supplement
Year Published: 1935

Title: Toward a Grouping of Early Chinese Bronzes
Periodical Title: Parnassus
Edition: April
Year Published: 1937

Title: The St. Louis Art Museum: Handbook of the Collections
Year Published: 1975

Title: A New View: Ancient Chinese Jades and Bronzes
Periodical Title: Saint Louis Art Museum Magazine
Edition: January - March
Year Published: 2013

Title: Object of the Month: Early Western Zhou Bronze Fang Yi
Periodical Title: Orientations
Edition: October
Year Published: 1985

Title: Ancient Chinese Bronzes in The Saint Louis Art Museum
Year Published: 1997

Title: Handbook of the Collections: The City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Year Published: 1944

Title: The Saint Louis Art Museum Handbook of the Collections
Year Published: 1991

Title: Forty Masterpieces from the Collections of the City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Periodical Title: Bulletin of the City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Edition: October
Year Published: 1947

Title: An Exhibition of Chinese Bronze, Pottery and Porcelain in Conjunction with Messrs. C.T. Loo of Paris, November 25th–December 14th, 1935
Year Published: 1935

Title: Chinese Bronzes
Year Published: 1980

Title: Ritual Vessels of Bronze Age China
Year Published: 1968

Title: An Exhibition of Ancient Chinese Ritual Bronzes Loaned by C. T. Loo
Year Published: 1940

Title: A Masterpiece in Bronze
Periodical Title: Bulletin of the City Art Museum of St. Louis
Edition: April
Year Published: 1941

Title: Haiwai yizhen: Tongqi (Hai-wai yi-chen: Chinese Art in Overseas Collections: Bronze)
Year Published: 1985

Title: Early Cho: Wou Kiuan
Year Published: 1971

Title: Permanent Collection: Focusing on Chinese Bronzes
Periodical Title: The Saint Louis Art Museum Magazine
Edition: July – August
Year Published: 1990

Title: Early Chinese Bronzes in the City Art Museum of St. Louis
Year Published: 1956

Title: Ritual Bronzes of Ancient China
Year Published: 1945

Title: Exhibition of Chinese, Indian and Cambodian Art Formed by C. T. Loo
Year Published: 1931

Title: The Rathbone Years: Masterpieces Acquired for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1955–1972, and for the St. Louis Art Museum, 1940–1955
Year Published: 1972

Title: Report from America
Periodical Title: Oriental Art
Edition: Winter 1982–1983
Year Published: 1982

Title: Western Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections
Year Published: 1990

In Collection(s)