Chinese / Food Vessel: Gui / Western Zhou period, c. late 11th-early 10th century BCEChinese
Food Vessel: Gui
Western Zhou period, c. late 11th-early 10th century BCE

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Chinese
Creator Name-CRT: Chinese
Title: Food Vessel: Gui
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 0
Creation End Date: 0
Creation Date: Western Zhou period, c. late 11th-early 10th century BCE
Creation Place: North China
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Vessels
Materials and Techniques: bronze
Dimensions: H. 7 1/2 in. (19.1 cm); W. 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm) across handles
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.102
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Context: The description of the Shang (c. 1700-c. 1050 BCE) and Zhou (c. 1050-221 BCE) periods in Chinese history as a Great Bronze Age stems from both the astonishing variety of shapes and motifs found in their ritual vessels and the sheer technical complexity involved in producing them. The Zhou, one of a number of peoples who inhabited parts of northwest China, defeated the Shang and established a capital in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province. This early part of the dynasty is known as the Western Zhou (c. 1050-771 BCE).

Bronze vessels were items of luxury and power throughout the entire Zhou period, and changes in the types and decoration of these vessels illustrate the many cultural and political shifts that characterize this long and complicated era of Chinese history. The forceful cow heads decorating the handle tops of this gui food vessel exemplify the Western Zhou interest in depicting animals. Yet the decoration of this bronze, in particular the taotie (mythical creature), continues a Shang decorative repertory. An inscription reading zuo baoyi, "made this precious vessel," is cast into the base of the interior. As can be seen by comparison with other examples, this vessel once had a cover that may have been turned over and used as a serving plate.

Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 50.
Related Document Description: Sotheby and Co. Chinese Works of Art (auction, London, May 28, 1963), lot 140.
Related Document Description: Sutton, Denys. 'Search for Perfection.' Apollo (November 1983), p. 361.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.102
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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