Every surface of this vessel is animated with fantastic creatures: an owl-like bird with coiled serpent wings dominates the body while another bird forms the handle. Felines, dragons, and fish fill the spaces in between.
Though it has lost its lid, this large ewer’s (gong) elaborately decorated surface is teeming with fantastic animals. The vessel is in the form of a horned bird with a hooked beak, whose wings, composed of coiled dragons, extend on either side of the vessel body. Felines, dragons, and fish fill the spaces in between. The handle also takes the shape of a bird that stands on a serpent-like fish.
[Zhixin Jason Sun, Ancient Chinese Bronzes in the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Orientations, March 2015]
Reportedly Anyang, Henan Province
[ C. T. Loo & Co. , 1943; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties," 2005.