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Bell (Lai Zhong)

Bell (Lai Zhong)

c. 800-700 BC

Bronze

Overall: 70.3 x 37 x 26.6 cm (27 11/16 x 14 9/16 x 10 1/2 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1989.3

Description

In ancient China music and ritual had political significance and were linked inseparably to the power of states. This bell bears a long inscription about its owner, Lai, and why it was cast. Lai's ancestors dutifully served the Western Zhou royal court and he was granted a hereditary position by the "Son of Heaven" (the ruler). To express filial piety, Lai commissioned a set of bells as offerings to his father, Gongshu, in the hope that they would be forever treasured by the future generations. This important inscription also provides an early example of Chinese calligraphy highlighting the purely abstract lines and construction of characters.

See also
Department: 
Chinese Art
Type of artwork: 
Metalwork
Medium: 
Bronze

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