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Archaic Chinese Bronze Vessel
Tripod Ritual Wine Cup
Western Zhou, circa: 11th century-771 BCE
H 10 in.(25.5cm.), W 6.75 in.(17cm.), D 4.5 in.(11.5cm.)
Condition: losses

The jue is among the most ancient of Chinese bronzes. From the heyday of the Erlitou type site (c. 1900-1500 BCE) until sometime in the Western Zhou period (c. 11th century-771 BCE), about a dozen similar jue has been recovered to date at Erlitou.

Stable and graciously proportioned, this jue has three flared legs emerge from the base splay outward, it has a dragon head on the strap handle, and the taotie masks at the waist are in fairly high relief. There is no contrastive ground accompanying any of the decorative patterns; which is consistent with the style of Western Zhou period bronze vessels. There is also an inscription on the trough spout clearly indicated in pictograms : Created for Gong Wang's precious use. Gong is a clan name of the Zhou, and vessels bearing the Gong clan name and similar inscription have been unearthed from the Xiaomintun cemetery at Yinxu. Therefore it is conjectured that this vessel is also comes from Yinxu. The jue was probably a gift or offering made to Gong Wang at the funeral; it may had been used for drinking or libations at the grave during the rite, a custom known as early as the prehistoric Dawenkou and Longshane culture ( Fourth to third millennium BCE ).

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Zhou Bronze Jue
Sold To Private Collection

The jue was excavated in the mid Qing era ( 1644-1911 ) with a damaged trough spout, and most of the encrustation of the jue has fallen off. The outer vessel body has an original patina varies from green to tint of earth colored red, the aged vessel has the character of a "long buried" smooth surface, with dusty incrustation remains on the interior of the vessel.



Chinese Bronze Vessel


Tripod Vessel


Western Zhou Bronze Vessel


Chinese Bronze Vessel



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Western Zhou Jue Inscription

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