Ritual Wine Vessel (Jue)
On View: Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
Ritual wine vessels of this shape (jue) are the earliest surviving form of bronzes in ancient China. They functioned as cups for drinking fermented-millet beverages in rituals to the ancestors. Such vessels from the early Erligang period are thinly cast. By the Anyang period, the bodies and legs become thicker and sturdier, as bronze casting developed. Chinese technological advances allowed the creation of elaborate ritual bronzes using piece-mold casts, which could be reused to make multiple copies. The marks from the ceramic mold for this jue can be seen down the center of each leg and along the corresponding parts of the body. The scroll lines and two protruding eyes embellishing the body show the early abstract form of the animal-mask (taotie) motif.
13th century B.C.E.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Paul E. Manheim
Ritual Wine Vessel (Jue), 13th century B.C.E. Bronze, 7 1/2 x 6 1/4 in. (19.1 x 15.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Paul E. Manheim, 68.185.14. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 68.185.14_bw.jpg)
overall, 68.185.14_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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