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X-RARE Ancient Chinese Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong) withTranslation! W. Zhou Dynasty

X-RARE Ancient Chinese Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong) withTranslation! W. Zhou Dynasty
X-RARE Ancient Chinese Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong) withTranslation! W. Zhou Dynasty
X-RARE Ancient Chinese Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong) withTranslation! W. Zhou Dynasty
X-RARE Ancient Chinese Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong) withTranslation! W. Zhou Dynasty
X-RARE Ancient Chinese Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong) withTranslation! W. Zhou Dynasty
X-RARE Ancient Chinese Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong) withTranslation! W. Zhou Dynasty
X-RARE Ancient Chinese Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong) withTranslation! W. Zhou Dynasty
X-RARE Ancient Chinese Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong) withTranslation! W. Zhou Dynasty
X-RARE Ancient Chinese Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong) withTranslation! W. Zhou Dynasty
X-RARE Ancient Chinese Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong) withTranslation! W. Zhou Dynasty
X-RARE Ancient Chinese Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong) withTranslation! W. Zhou Dynasty
X-RARE Ancient Chinese Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong) withTranslation! W. Zhou Dynasty

X-RARE Ancient Chinese Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong) withTranslation! W. Zhou Dynasty

Antiques, Artifacts & Fine Collectibles. Ancient Chinese Ritual Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong).

Horned Beast, Taotie, & Kui Dragons. A Righteous and Honorable Father Offers this Gift of Wine to Complete. His Inevitable Destiny to Cross from Life on Earth to Supreme Immortality in Heaven. Translation by Author of the Six-Character Inscription. Item: Chinese Ritual Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong) Horned Beast, Taotie, & Kui Dragons. · Weight: 4.0 lb. · Length: 9.25 (235 mm). · Height: 8.75 (215 mm). · Width: 3.25 (83 mm). This stunning, two-piece vessel was cast in bronze during the Western Zhou Dynasty about 3,000-years-ago. This hollow vessel, cast in low relief, was made to hold ritual, ceremonial wine for a wealthy member of the aristocratic hierarchy.

The casting of bronze vessels was strictly controlled by the ruling class and bronze was thought to be more precious than silver, gold, or ivory. Animal-form vessels are the rarest form of Chinese archaic bronze. Only a handful of comparable pieces are known to exist, although most are in national museums.

This piece is particularly remarkable for the exceptional detail with which it was cast over 3,000 years-ago. This stunning vessel was used during ritual offerings. To drive away evil spirits and thus to gain good fortune with the ancestors in Heaven (Tien).

Aspects of the symbolic and mythical creatures found on this vessel indicate that the craftsmen who made it intended to represent a sacred creature, rather than a real animal. The lid of the elliptical-shaped gong is in the shape of a bovine with horns. During the Shang and Zhou Dynasties, animal sacrifices and wine were almost always offered as ritual sacrifices to the gods and ancestors. On the removable lid, there are mythical kui dragons (that look like birds) and a mythological creature called a Taotie with big eyes and horns that were thought to scare away evil spirits.

These fierce creatures were thought to allow the souls of the departed to safely travel to eternal life in Heaven (in Chinese Tien). I have been collecting for over 50 years and this is one of the most stunning bronze castings from the Western Zhou Dynasty that I have ever had the pleasure to own. As a long-time Asian collector, Ive handled a lot of ancient Chinese bronze, but this example really stands out. This two-piece vessel is in Museum Quality, as found condition with a lustrous, bronze verdigris oxidation the exterior and a thick layer of earthen and mineral deposits on the interior of both the body and lid of this vessel. All the figures and shapes are sharply and elegantly cast with extreme clarity in three-dimensionsnot in order to depict anything from the animal world, but for purely expressive and symmetric purposes.

All the raised, exterior, surfaces are boldly cast with incised spirals and volutes. Bronze vessels like this Mythical Horned beast were cast for use in rituals or for offerings to the spirits and ancestors. English Translation of Ancient Chinese Characters. Although many if not most of these fabulous wine vessels are uninscribed, this one has six, ancient Chinese characters that are located in the neck area of the horned beast!

{see macro photo # 5}. These six, compound characters represent some of the first use of a written, graphic language in China. Whenever the ancient Chinese noblemen had been favored by their princes or had experienced success in battle, they would cast a bronze vessel like this gong in memorium. The vessel would contain an inscription and then be placed in the ancestral temple of the family and then served as a ritual vessel when offerings and libations of wine were offered to the Manes.

Here is my literal translation of the six characters, starting with the one located on the top right (next to the rimed opening of the vessel) and reading down {see photo # 5}. · This first graphic character appears to represent a passage down a river or the idea of a man who is incorruptible crossing from one realm to another- ie, from Earth to Heaven. It can also mean to covert men (Hua) by teaching them or by an omen (Chao).

· The second Chinese character is that of Jen, which is a common character, and when combined with the sixth character in this inscription forms the compound character Fu that means to give some object to a Father. In this context, I believe they are referring to the gift of this precious bronze Gong to the Spirit of the Father. · The third compound character represents the concept of a man entering into supreme harmony with Heaven {Tien}.

It also suggests an agreement between Heaven and Earth that dictates a mans destiny and the transformation of perfect, skillful, mortal men into immortals. · The fourth character starts at the top of the second row on the left-hand side. This character is perhaps an early form of the graphic Chu that means to finish as it represents bringing the right foot forward. · The fifth character appears to be an early form of the graphic Fu that means gifts received or abundance. 193 It may also mean Hsiang which is to offer a gift to a superior.

And the arrow-like figure is the graphic Ko that means a twig of bamboo with a knot and the whorl of pending branches inserted into the knot. · And the last, graphic character Tsun is that of the right hand of the head of a family making a ritual offering of sacrificed meat in this case an oxen or perhaps cinnabar (Tan) to the ancestors. Again, it represents the concept of transformation of mortal man into an immortal being. Therefore, this six character inscription could be translated as follows. Lengthy, commemorative inscriptions are not found on Chinese bronze artifacts until the early Zhou Dynasty.

That is why I would date this piece to the late Western Zhou Period, as only the clan or family name and the name of the owner are usually cast into the vessels. {Ref: The Great Bronze Age of China, edited by Wen Fong, 1980, MET}. The horned buffalo/ox beast, which is also featured in bold relief as the head of the vessel, was an ancient family or clan symbol in the earliest Chinese language. Any seals on the bottom of the vessel or inside the lid or base are heavily encrusted and thus difficult to read or translate any other characters. Although I can see at least two, very small characters that were engraved on the right side of the neck. One character appears to be that of bronze while the other character is again a gifting hand. There are no repairs or restorations on this fabulous wine vesselit is in museum quality condition for being about 3,000 years old and displays beautifully. One of the most distinctive and characteristic images decorating Shang-dynasty bronze vessels is the so-called Taotie. The primary attribute of this frontal animal-like mask is a prominent pair of eyes, often protruding in high relief. Between the eyes is a nose, often with nostrils at the base. Taotie can also include jaws and fangs, horns, ears, and eyebrows.

Many versions include a split animal-like body with legs and tail, each flank shown in profile on either side of the mask. While following a general form, the appearance and specific components of taotie masks varied by period and place of production. Other common motifs for Zhou ritual bronze vessels were dragons, birds, bovine creatures, and a variety of geometric patterns.

Currently, the significance of the taotie, as well as the other decorative motifs, in Zhou society is still unknown. Bronze Casting in Ancient China. The earliest Chinese bronzes were made by the method known as piece-mold castingas opposed to the lost-wax method, which was used in all other Bronze Age cultures.

In piece-mold casting, a model is made of the object to be cast, and a clay mold taken of the model. The mold is then cut in sections to release the model, and the sections are reassembled after firing to form the mold for casting.

If the object to be cast is a vessel like this lovely gong, a core has to be placed inside the mold to provide the vessels cavity. The piece-mold method was most likely the only one used in China until at least the end of the Zhou dynasty. An advantage of this rather cumbersome way of casting bronze was that the decorative patterns could be carved or stamped directly on the inner surface of the mold before it was fired. This technique enabled the bronze worker to achieve a high degree of sharpness and definition in even the most intricate designs. As mentioned above, one of the most distinctive and characteristic images decorating Shang/Zhou bronze vessels is the so-called Taotie. The five zuns and one gong have been in a private collection in Hong Kong for at least 70 years. Undocumented reports suggest it was discovered by farmers in 1938 and has been in private collections since that time. Bronze vessels of this type were also recovered from storage pits when fleeing members of the ruling class fled the capital city when ravaging hoards invaded the city. Because ritual bronze vessels reflected the relative status of their users, we would expect to find several different combinations of forms that would represent several different ranks with the elite class. These bronze vessels were created for rituals in ancestral temples by kings and nobles whose rank and order were measured by the size and number of their bronzes.

One intact tomb in Yinxu, China, that was discovered in 1976, revealed a total of 217 vessels in 21 forms for food, wine, and water. Among them were 40 food vessels and three times as many117 or morewine vessels.

The jue and gu accounted for 90 of the wine vessels, which clearly indicates that wine vessels like this Owl Zun played a dominant role in ancient, aristocratic China about 3,000-years-ago. This bronze wine vessel is still heavily encrusted with earthen deposits, as well as authentic red and blue-green oxidation of the bronze that was buried for millennia in damp soil that was rich in cuprite, azurite, and malachite. It is in as found condition and has been in a private collection in Hong Kong for at least 50 years. Undocumented reports suggest it was found by farmers in 1938 and has been in private collections since that time. Museums and modern archeological studies usually use the general term copper alloy instead of just the term bronze to describe these ancient treasures, as many other elements (such as tin, lead, zinc, iron, and even arsenic) were added to the copper to form different strengths of types of bronze items. Ancient bronze artifacts such as this zun vessel are probably about 80% copper and 20% tin, while modern bronze is closer to 88% copper and 12% tin.

It has a wonderful old, patina that is absolutely fabulous: areas of a blue-green patina from the azurite and malachite in the surrounding soil. This combination of colors forms a fantastic patina that is typical of bronze that has been buried for over 1,000 years. Close examination with a microscope under natural and black light reveal it to be 100% authentic and cast by hand in a sand mold. One interesting property of bronze is that once it has oxidized superficially, a copper oxide layer is formed on the surface and essentially protects the object from further damaging corrosion.

This protective layer turns in another compound, called copper carbonate for you scientists out there, which protects most bronze pieces from further corrosion. I have carefully examined this item under magnification and it shows authentic and original signs of weathering and ground contact that help to further authenticate it as an ancient piece. It shows minor oxidation and is in very good condition.

You will not be disappointed! It is a museum quality, ancient Chinese work of art. It is a wonderful piece and would look great displayed next to your other fine ancient Chinese jade and bronze pieces! Museum of Chinese History, Beijing.

The Ancestral Landscape, David N. The Great Bronze Age of China , edited by Wen Fong, MET, 1980. Changhua Annals of the Republic of China (19111949).

Smithsonian Museum, Sackler & Freer Gallery, WDC. Shang and Zhou Dynasties: The Bronze Age of China , MET in New York City.

It will come with a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) from Ancient Civilizations. Their beauty and investment value are not comparable to this ancient ritual bronze that is about 3,000 years old.

Sorry, but Washington State residents are required to pay the. The item "X-RARE Ancient Chinese Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong) withTranslation!

Zhou Dynasty" is in sale since Tuesday, March 19, 2019. This item is in the category "Antiques\Asian Antiques\China\Other Chinese Antiques". The seller is "houghton-usa" and is located in Sequim, Washington.

This item can be shipped to United States.

  • Type: Ritual Wine Container (Gong)
  • Region of Origin: China
  • Age: Western Zhou Period
  • Primary Material: Bronze
  • Original/Reproduction: Original
  • Color: Bronze


X-RARE Ancient Chinese Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong) withTranslation! W. Zhou Dynasty