Goblet

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze.

Date:

Shang dynasty ( about 1600–1046 BC ), 13th/12th century BC

Artist:

China

About this artwork

For nobility of the Shang dynasty, divine goodwill was enlisted and repaid with ritual offerings of food and drink. This vessel, which would have been placed over fire to heat sacrificial wine, displays the taut profile and precise surface decoration and distinguishes the finest bronzes commissioned for this purpose. Its surface decoration is intricately executed in several levels of relief. Two tiers of monster masks, each formed of hooks and spirals around a pair of staring eyes, encircle the flared bowl. Elongated versions of these masks, which may be read as paired serpents, descend the legs, while a snub-nosed bovine head with sculpted horns crowns the strap-handle. This intriguing imagery, set off a background of fine, squared spirals, reappears in endless variations on Shang bronzes, but eludes modern interpretation.

On View

Asian Art, Gallery 131

Title

Goblet

Origin

China

Date

1600–1050

Medium

Bronze

Inscriptions

Personal emblem cast inside bowl: Ling

Dimensions

H. 27.2 cm (10 3/4 in.); diam. 17.0 cm (6 11/16 in.)

Credit Line

Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection

Reference Number

1946.4

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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