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Ritual Wine Container with Cover (Hu)

Period:
Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 B.C.)
Date:
late 9th–early 8th century B.C.
Culture:
China
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
H. 21 5/8 in. (55 cm); W. 14 3/4 in. (37.5 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork
Credit Line:
Charlotte C. and John C. Weber Collection, Gift of Charlotte C. and John C. Weber through the Live Oak Foundation, 1988
Accession Number:
1988.20.4a, b
  • Description

    The Zhou initially adopted the ritual practices and accompanying bronze vessels of their Shang predecessors. By the ninth century, however, a new bronze style had evolved, characterized by new shapes—primarily food vessels—and an imagery that tended toward simple and abstract forms. Striking in size and of graceful proportions, these hu wine vessels have flattened pear-shaped bodies with molded feet and lids. Their forms, which have lost the tautness and tension of Shang vessels, are decorated with heavy, rounded relief figures on a plain ground, set in panels formed by flat relief bands running horizontally and vertically. The eight panels are filled with an ornamental pattern consisting of hooked lines enclosing an "eye" motif, a playful transformation of the ubiquitous dragon-mask (taotie) motifs of the earlier vessels.

    (One of a pair; see 1988.20.5a, b)

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
44515

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