c. 1250–1046 BCE
Overall: 26.7 x 13.4 cm (10 1/2 x 5 1/4 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1963.103
The bird motif decoration of this bronze is uncommon; more often these bronzes are decorated with a combination of birds and dragons.
From the finely proportioned body to the elaborate decoration cast with great precision, this ritual wine vessel displays the artistic refinement and technical virtuosity that marked the full blossoming of late Shang bronze art. The dramatic contrast of the crested birds (kuifeng) against the dense background of spiral patterns (leiwen) gives the vessel a new force, clarity, and intense vitality. The distinctive square body also places it as a rare and important type among the more usual round or ovoid types.
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