Other Bronze in National Palace Museum, part2
Welcome to the National Palace Museum's collection of bronze artifacts from the Song dynasty! Here, you can explore a variety of different artifacts, including Hsing Chi Shih Tsun, He wine/water vessel of Bo-ding, Square Zun wine vessel of Ya-chou, Yue battle ax with animal mask pattern and turquoise inlay, Oval Liang Measure by imperial decree of 26th year, Mirror of Shang-fang with TLV pattern and Zun wine vessel in the shape of animal with metal wire and turquoise inlay. These artifacts provide us with a unique insight into Chinese culture during this period, as they were used for various purposes such as ceremonial offerings and weapons. Come take a look at these incredible artifacts today!
1. Hsing Chi Shih Tsun
The phoenix bird with a large tail seen here was a brand new form of decoration that rose around the time of King Mu in the mid Western Zhou period. The phoenix bird is a mythical creature that is said to live for 500 years before it dies. The phoenix bird is a symbol of power and immortality. The phoenix bird with a large tail seen here was a brand new form of decoration that rose around the time of King Mu in the mid Western Zhou period The phoenix bird is a mythical creature that is said to live for 500 years before it dies The phoenix bird is a symbol of power and immortality
2. He wine/water vessel of Bo-ding
The same inscription appears on both the vessel and its cover, but their style of writing is different. One follows the simple strength of the early Western Zhou period, while the other forges a new path towards elegance in the mid Western Zhou. This transitory combination of tradition and innovation just so happens to appear in the same vessel, indicating that the inscriptions on the mold were probably originally done by two different people and representing a time when the new was beginning to supercede the old.
3. Square Zun wine vessel of Ya-chou
Cast "Yachou" vessels have often been excavated from Suputun in Itu, Shandong, so scholars believe that "Yachou" represents the "Poku" clan mentioned in the ancient "Zozhuan" text. Flourishing in the late Shang period, this clan was exterminated by King Cheng in the early Western Zhou.
4. Yue battle ax with animal mask pattern and turquoise inlay
This axe-blade object is a weapon known as a "yue". One side forms the blade in the shape of an arc, while the other is where a long handle would have been fastened to make it convenient for use in battle. This form, very similar to that of an axe, is mainly from the late Shang to the early Zhou dynasty.
5. Oval Liang Measure by imperial decree of 26th year
Qin Shi Huangdi (The First Emperor of Imperial Qin) annexed the other six states and established one grand empire under the heaven. He called himself the First Emperor, replaced the antiquated feudal system with centralized governance, and standardized the written language as well as weights and measures. The decree announcing the standard units was recorded on many standard devices made for the very purpose, as inscribed on the liang measure in the Museum collection, to the effect that in the 26th year of his reign (221 B. C. E.), the King of Qin consolidated all states, brought peace to all his subjects, and titled himself "Huang Di" (Imperial Emperor); having accomplished the above, the emperor asked his two prime ministers Wei Zhuang and Wang Wan to devise one single system bringing into consistency all that were discrepant or uncertain.
6. Mirror of Shang-fang with TLV pattern
The back of this mirror has a round knob in the center and is decorated throughout with geometric patterns, protrusions, the Four Spirits, and immortal figures. There is also a ring of auspicious text that states that "the making of this 'fine' mirror is of great favor. The immortals on it know not of old age as they quench their thirst in a stream of jade and feed their hunger with dates. They travel throughout the Heavens and the Four Seas, with longevity like that of bronze and stone to protect the country." This mirror was entered into the "Continuation of Connoisseurship at Ning-shou" at the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) court and was kept in an exquisite mirror case especially made for it.
7. Zun wine vessel in the shape of animal with metal wire and turquoise inlay
This vessel takes the form of a sturdily standing four-legged hoofed animal, with raised ears, round eyes, four hoofed legs, and a dangling tail. The posture and musculature of the animal is realistically depicted. The surface of the vessel is blackish-brown in color, interspersed with green. The vessel is adorned with silver threads that form angled cloud patterns, and is richly decorated with turquoise and gold and silver inlays. The face of the animal shows inlaid round gold eyes, and the bridge of the nose, the eyebrows, and the forehead are studded with turquoise. A circlet of inlaid gold encircles the neck, representing a collar. The lid on the back of the animal is decorated with dragon-shaped gold and silver inlays.
8. Square gui food container with Ya Chou emblem
The body of the vessel is square and the neck is compact. The neck and the longer sides of the ring foot are decorated with kui phoenix patterns. The background is filled in with cloud and thunder patterns.
9. P'eng-tsu-ting Ting
The vessel is called "P'eng ting" because the initial character of the inscription is "P'eng" which is the symbol of the clan of which the person who made this vessel belonged to, and the person who the sacrifice was offered to was his grandfather "Ting" (known by his sacrificial name). The vessel is the heaviest and largest ting in the collection of the National Palace Museum. The grand and majestic shape of the vessel is decorated with animal-mask patterns to create an even grander effect.