Bronze Bells, China, Early Eastern Zhou Dynasty, Spring & Autumn period, 770-476 BC

Bronze Bells, China, Early Eastern Zhou Dynasty, Spring & Autumn period, 770-476 BC. Height: 48-38 cm. Metallurgical Test report & X-ray, CIRAM. Vanderven Oriental Art at Brafa Art Fair, Brussels, 21-29 january 2017.

These ancient ritual bells, were mallet struck instruments, which were suspended downwards from a frame. The hanger is elaborately shaped in the form of two back to back mythical dragons. The body is decorated with three rows of high relief nodules, which probably had an acoustic function. Bronzes such as these would have been cast, probably in ceramic moulds. Decorative motifs were similar on jades of this period.
Bronze artefacts were costly and time consuming to make. They were therefore status symbols, which could only be afforded by the royalty and nobility of the period.

ProvenancePrivate Collections, Japan 2004 & 2014

Vanderven Oriental Art. Chinese early ceramics from the Han & Tang Periods, Ming & Qing porcelains & works of art including Jades, Bronzes, hardstones and wood. Japanese porcelains, 20th century lacquer & bronzes. Nachtegaalslaantje 1, 5211 LE s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands