Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Altar Set, Shang and Western Zhou dynasties, late 11th century
    China
    Bronze

    table 7 1/8 x 35 3/8 x 18 1/4 in. (18.1 x 89.9 x 46.4 cm)
    Munsey Fund, 1931 (24.72.1–14)

    This elaborate set of ritual bronzes, consisting of an altar table and thirteen wine vessels, illustrates the splendor of China's Bronze Age at its peak. The monumental design, intricate surface decoration, and refined casting attest convincingly to artistic sophistication and technical advancement. The set was reportedly found in the early twentieth century at the tomb of a Western Zhou aristocrat in Shaanxi Province. It subsequently entered the collection of Duan Fang, a prominent government official and renowned antiquarian, whose heirs later sold it to the Metropolitan Museum.

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    Altar Set, Shang and Western Zhou dynasties, late 11th century
    China
    Bronze

    table 7 1/8 x 35 3/8 x 18 1/4 in. (18.1 x 89.9 x 46.4 cm)
    Munsey Fund, 1931 (24.72.1–14)


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