tall thin vessel with a flaring top; round base with four blade shape designs up the sides

Gu wine vessel, 13th-12th century BCE

Unknown artist, expand_more

Bronzeexpand_more

Gift of Ruth and Bruce Daytonexpand_more  96.97.2.1

G214expand_more

These beakers, used in the ritual pouring of wine, are decorated on their flared necks with four elongated blades filled with an incised spiral, or leiwen, pattern. The central zone is composed of four kui (single horn) dragons separated by raised “nose ridges” between their round eyes, creating, in effect, a pair of symbolic taotie animal masks. The flared feet also display a taotie on either side of the vessel. The overall incised linear decoration seen here is associated with one of the stylistic phases documented from burials at Anyang, the last capital of Shang. The all-important taotie masks are hard to discern here. Later, artisans developed a more sculptural style, with the masks distinctly cast in high relief against the incised spiral patterns.

Details
Title
Gu wine vessel
Role
Artist
Accession Number
96.97.2.1
Curator Approved

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tall thin vessel with a flaring top; round base with four blade shape designs up the sides