Food vessel with lid - ROM2015_14620_11


Food vessel with lid

Medium:Cast bronze
Geography: Reportedly from Jincun, Luoyang, Henan province, China
Date: Late 6th - mid 5th century BC
Period: Eastern Zhou dynasty
12.7 x 20 cm
Object number: 932.16.71.1
Credit Line: Bishop William C. White Collection
On view
Gallery Location:Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of China

The period known as the Eastern Zhou spanned a considerable number of centuries. It is often sub-divided into the period of the Spring and Autumn Annals, named for the annals of the State of Lu, and the Warring States period, named after another historical text, Discourses of the Warring States. During this time the political divisions of the country were in constant flux as alliances between states were made and broken. The increasing power of the lords of the various states at the expense of the Zhou king probably contributed towards the growth of local bronze industries during this time. Because the head of each state required ritual paraphernalia and arms, the output of bronze objects during this era was substantial.

The oval shape and eccentric legs of this piece are uncommon for vessels of this period. The four semi-human creatures that act as legs have owl-like heads and outstretched wings. The eyes and nipples are inlaid with minute glass beads. The ring handles on either side of the vessel are adorned with fierce animal heads with large horns and open mouths, also inlaid with tiny green glass beads. The openwork oval handle in the centre of the lid is made in an interlaced scrolling design that can be found on other vessels of different shape and on an almost identical vessel in another collection. Figures, both human and animal, are found as supports on other Eastern Zhou bronze artifacts. The Eastern Zhou dating of this vessel is based on the fact that it probably came from Jincun, the Eastern Zhou necropolis near Luoyang, and on features that it shares with other bronze objects of the period.

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