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Title

Vessel in archaic 'gu' form


Artists

Unknown Artist


About

This bronze vessel demonstrates the persistence of a taste for antique bronzes that was sustained throughout Chinese history by the literati. It takes the shape of the 'gu', an ancient form of ritual wine goblet of the Shang and Zhou dynasties that was re-interpreted and copied during the Song to Ming dynasties. The flaring upper part is decorated by four blades which contain motifs of schematic 'taotie' masks, dragons and geometric patterns. The blades may well represent the cicada, a symbol of rebirth associated frequently with burial objects. In each of the upper four quarters are dragons with open jaws and curved horns. Below, the zoomorphic motifs in the four sections can be viewed as two groups and form two 'taotie' masks. Over the whole body of the vessel the animal motifs are rendered in inlaid gold and silver sheet metal and wires, against a backdrop of 'leiwen', or thunder pattern.

‘The Asian Collections: Art Gallery of New South Wales’. pg.76
© 2003 Trustees, Art Gallery of New South Wales


Details


Other Title

Vessel in archaic 'gu' form with wooden stand


Place where the work was made

China


Date

0960-1279


Media categories

Metalwork , Woodwork


Materials used

bronze with gold and silver inlays; wooden [stand]


Dimensions

25.5 x 14.8 cm :

a - vessel; 23.1 cm

b - stand - wooden; 3.3 cm


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Asian Collection Benefactors' Fund 1997


Accession number

433.1997.a-b



Place

Where the work was made
China

Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Bronzes and Jades', Sydney, 2003, 76 (colour illus.).