Exhibitions/ Art Object

西汉 青铜滇人祭祀场景贮贝器
Cowry Container with Scene of Sacrifice

Western Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 9)
Overall H. 15 3/4 in. (40 cm); Diam. of cover 13 1/8 in. (33.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Lent by Lijiashan Museum of Bronzes
Not on view
Thirty-five sculpted figures create a dense composition on this container’s cover. Escorted by two mounted horsemen and flanked by servants, a gilded female sits on a palanquin. The gilding may indicate a higher status. One kneeling female, possibly a servant, holds a parasol, while another female and two males wield a shovel and sowing tools; the group may signal an agricultural ritual. The remaining figures, scattered around the rim, comprise what appears to be a market scene. The figures were likely cast separately and then soldered to the cover.
Excavated from Tomb no. 69 at Lijiashan, Jiangchuan, Yunnan, 1992 (1992 云南省江川李家山69号墓出土)

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 B.C.–A.D. 200)," April 3, 2017–July 16, 2017.

Zhongguo guojia bowuguan 中國國家博物館 (National Museum of China) and Yunnan sheng wenhuating 雲南省文化庁 (Yunnan Provincial Department of Culture), ed. Yunan wenming zhiguang: Dian wangguo wenwu jingpin ji 雲南文明之光:滇王國文物精品集 (Light of Yunnan culture: masterpieces of the Dian civilization). Beijing: Zhongguo Shehui Kexue Chubanshe 2003: 79–89.