Wine container (Hu), Bronze inlaid with copper, China

春秋 嵌紅銅青銅壺
Wine container (Hu)

Eastern Zhou dynasty, Spring and Autumn period (770–476 B.C.)
early 5th century B.C.
Bronze inlaid with copper
H. 15 3/8 in. (39.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1999
Accession Number:
1999.46a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 207
A portion of this vessel’s surface has retained its original corrosion-free brassy color. The triangular forms around the rim are inlaid with copper, which has turned dark and is partially covered by green corrosion.
#7397. Ritual Wine Container (Hu)
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Another significant piece purchased since the 1980s with general acquisition funds exemplifies an important innovation of bronze casting that took place at Eastern Zhou foundries. This tall wine container (hu) exhibits a dense sculptural decoration that is the direct result of the use of master decor stamps, also known as pattern blocks, that facilitated the mold-making process and brought about specialization and mass production to meet the rapid commercialization of the bronze industry. The highly textured surface is further enhanced by a colorful copper inlay.

[Zhixin Jason Sun, Ancient Chinese Bronzes in the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Orientations, March 2015]

[ R. H. Ellsworth Ltd. , New York, until 1999; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Ancient China," 2005.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Innovation and Spectacle: Chinese Ritual Bronzes," October 18, 2014–March 22, 2015.