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Title: 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: Daijiawan, Baoji, Shaanxi province, China
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.

Signed: unsigned
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: 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: Forty Masterpieces from the Collections of the City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Date: October 1947
Venue: City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Title: Treasures from the East: Asian Art from the Collection
Date: September 25–November 14, 1982
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Ancient Chinese Bronzes
Date: November 4, 1997 – May 17, 1998
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
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: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Title: Ritual Vessels of Bronze Age China
Date: October 10 – December 15, 1968
Venue: Asia House Gallery
Publication History
Title: Object of the Month: Early Western Zhou Bronze Fang Yi
Periodical Title: Orientations
Edition: October
Year Published: 1985
Title: Report from America
Periodical Title: Oriental Art
Author: Annette Juliano
Title: The Saint Louis Art Museum Handbook of the Collections
Editor: Mary Ann Steiner
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Handbook of the Collections: The City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Permanent Collection: Focusing on Chinese Bronzes
Periodical Title: The Saint Louis Art Museum Magazine
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: The St. Louis Art Museum: Handbook of the Collections
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Early Chinese Bronzes in the City Art Museum of St. Louis
Author: J. Edward Kidder Jr.
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Handbook of the Collections: The City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Ritual Bronzes of Ancient China
Year Published: 1945
Title: An Exhibition of Ancient Chinese Ritual Bronzes Loaned by C. T. Loo
Author: James Marshall Plumer
Author: James Mellon Menzies
Author: Mrs. Marion W. Riepe
Publisher: C. T. Loo
Title: A Masterpiece in Bronze
Periodical Title: Bulletin of the City Art Museum of St. Louis
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Haiwai yizhen: Tongqi (Hai-wai yi-chen: Chinese Art in Overseas Collections: Bronze)
Editor: National Palace Museum, Taipei
Publisher: National Palace Museum, Taipei
Title: Ritual Vessels of Bronze Age China
Author: Max Loehr
Publisher: Asia Society
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: Forty Masterpieces from the Collections of the City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Periodical Title: Bulletin of the City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Author: Perry T. Rathbone
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Exhibition of Chinese, Indian and Cambodian Art Formed by C. T. Loo
Author: C. T. Loo
Publisher: C. T. Loo
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: Ancient Chinese Bronzes in The Saint Louis Art Museum
Year Published: 1997
Title: Early Cho: Wou Kiuan
Year Published: 1971
Title: Chinese Bronzes
Year Published: 1980
Title: The Rathbone Years: Masterpieces Acquired for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1955–1972, and for the St. Louis Art Museum, 1940–1955
Publisher: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Title: A New View: Ancient Chinese Jades and Bronzes
Periodical Title: Saint Louis Art Museum Magazine
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Toward a Grouping of Early Chinese Bronzes
Periodical Title: Parnassus
Author: J. LeRoy Davidson
Title: Western Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections
Author: Jessica Rawson
Title: Saint Louis Art Museum: Handbook of the Collection
Editor: Mary Ann Steiner
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
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