From 1998-2001 technical studies were conducted on many of the Chinese bronzes in the permanent collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, including the Lidow Fang Hu, a Chinese cast-bronze from the Eastern Chou period. The study was initially undertaken to answer curatorial questions regarding the extent of previous restoration campaigns and methods of fabrication. Detailed examination and analysis of the heavily restored Fang Hu brought forward questions regarding its historical interpretation.
Previously, the LACMA Fang Hu was published on its own merit as an important footed vessel. However, the extensive restoration campaigns, mostly reconstruction, necessitated further investigation into its authenticity. Excavation records and illustrative rubbings evidence a similar piece (lacking the foot) exists/ed in Taiwan. It seems quite possible that the LACMA Fang Hu is either a sister piece, or that two objects were made from one. In consultation with the Curator of Chinese and Korean Art, we were able to pool available information to gain a cohesive historical understanding of LACMA’s Lidow Fang Hu, and characterize the restoration methodology.