Shang dynasty, ca. 12th century B.C.
Height: 24.8 cm Mouth diameter: 7.2 cm Weight: 1760 g
The yu vessel type is mentioned in the Shu Ching, the Shih Ching (Book of Odes), and the Tso Chuan, as a container for spiced wine. The present vessel is roughly cylindrical and quite tall, unlike the more squat and rounded shape of the typical yu vessel. The vertical flanges below the handle-ends bisect the two animal masks that constitute the main decoration of the piece. The two smaller bands on the body, and on the lower part of the lid, contain various sorts of dragons. The motifs are all executed in high relief on a lei-wen ground. The forceful high-relief, flanges and articulate form are all typical of late 8hang bronzes. The one-graph inscription is probably the clan emblem of the vessel's owner.
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