The term Tou for this type of vessel is confirmed by inscriptions. The slightly flattened sphere formed by body and lid appears huge and bulky in comparison with the short, footed stem. When inverted on its shallow disk the lid serves as a separate bowl. This top is adorned with a whorl circle surrounded by squared spirals. The surrounding border is filled with interlaced snakes on a granulation ground. On the lid proper there are three decor belts, separated by bare bands, filled with a minute comma-pattern. The body of the vessel has a similar belt of commas set off by a bare band at the rim and by a narrow rope-patterned band in relief below. There follows a very narrow band of comma pattern above a band of heart-shaped hanging blades filled with commas. the foot, like the disk on the lid, has a belt with interlaced snakes on a granulation ground. The ring-shaped handles have pointed spirals and a rope-patterned band. Patina Grey-green with patches of blue.

Pair of dou (ritual food vessels), 5th century BCE

Unknown artist, expand_more

Bronzeexpand_more

Bequest of Alfred F. Pillsburyexpand_more  50.46.88.1a,b

G214expand_more

These food containers, called dou, are cleverly designed. When turned upside down, the lids serve a secondary function as dishes to serve the food contained within. The majority of the decoration is composed of bands made up of repeated panels filled with minute comma patterns. Below the main zone is a row of heart-shaped hanging blades, again filled with commas. These basic design units were created with carved ceramic stamps that impressed the clay mold while still pliable. This technique greatly accelerated the process of mold production.

Details
Title
Pair of dou (ritual food vessels)
Role
Artist
Accession Number
50.46.88.1a,b
Curator Approved

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The term Tou for this type of vessel is confirmed by inscriptions. The slightly flattened sphere formed by body and lid appears huge and bulky in comparison with the short, footed stem. When inverted on its shallow disk the lid serves as a separate bowl. This top is adorned with a whorl circle surrounded by squared spirals. The surrounding border is filled with interlaced snakes on a granulation ground. On the lid proper there are three decor belts, separated by bare bands, filled with a minute comma-pattern. The body of the vessel has a similar belt of commas set off by a bare band at the rim and by a narrow rope-patterned band in relief below. There follows a very narrow band of comma pattern above a band of heart-shaped hanging blades filled with commas. the foot, like the disk on the lid, has a belt with interlaced snakes on a granulation ground. The ring-shaped handles have pointed spirals and a rope-patterned band. Patina Grey-green with patches of blue.