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Chinese Bronzes of the Shang and Zhou Periods
Han Dynasty Bronzes
Early Chinese Ceramics
Sculpture from Tombs
Chinese Buddhist Sculpture
Tang and Liao Dynasty Metalwork
Ceramics of the Song and Jin Periods
Porcelains of the Yuan and Early Ming Periods
Imperial Chinese Ceramics of the 15th Century
Ceramics of the Late Ming Period
Qing Dynasty Porcelain
Landscape Painting in China
Jade and Lacquer in China
North China; Eastern Zhou period (770-256 B.C.E.), 4th century B.C.E.
Bronze inlaid with copper
H. 14 1/2 in. (36.8 cm); W. 13 3/4 in. (34.9 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
Flat-sided flasks like this one appeared suddenly around 400 B.C.E, just as the traditional repertory of bronze ritual vessels began to decline. Their form was probably based on wooden, or perhaps leather vessels such as may have been used by the nomads on China's northern borders, and it is unlikely that they fulfilled any ritual role. Rather, such vessels were luxury items, used and displayed at banquets. The decoration consists of rectangles of densely packed interlaced designs in which the surface texture, rather than the individual motif, is important. The bands which define the rectangles and the triangles on the neck consist of sheet copper, which first began to be used as inlay in the 6th century B.C.E.
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