Spouted Wine Vessel (Gong), Bronze inlaid with turquoise, China

商 嵌松石青銅觥
Spouted Wine Vessel (Gong)

Shang dynasty (ca. 1600–1046 B.C.)
12th century B.C.
Bronze inlaid with turquoise
H. 6 5/16 in. (16 cm); W. 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm); L. 7 5/16 in. (18.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Ernest Erickson Foundation, 1985
Accession Number:
1985.214.5a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 207
This small spouted wine ewer (gong) is remarkable for its extensive use of turquoise inlay to accentuate the features of various fantastic animals in the decoration—a small feline head on the handle, a large horned animal face over the spout, and a coiled dragon body on the lid. The brightness of the gemstones, arranged in diamond lozenge patterns, creates a dramatic contrast with the unadorned body of the ewer.

[Zhixin Jason Sun, Ancient Chinese Bronzes in the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Orientations, March 2015]
The Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc. , New York (until 1985; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Ancient China," 2005.