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Covered Food Container

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze.


Western Zhou dynasty ( 1046–771 BC ), mid–10th century BC



About this artwork

Birds with long, trailing plumage encircle the lid and basin of this vessel. Their flowing lines reflect the skillful hand of the potter who carved the design in clay for casting in bronze. At some time in the past, this extensively damaged vessel was repaired and cleaned, thereby exposing its present, uncorroded surface.

Cast in the basin and lid are identical inscriptions: "In the eleventh month, first quarter, [on the day] jiashen, the King was in Hua. The King gave Ming deer. [Ming] therefore made [this] precious vessel. May Ming always [use this] gui to entertain many friends." The unusual inscription describes a secular event, indicating a new use for ritual bronzes. Such commemorative inscriptions, which gradually replaced shorter ancestor dedications, are important documents of Western Zhou history.

On View

Asian Art, Gallery 131


Covered Food Container




999 BCE–900 BCE




H. 24.1 cm (8 1/2 in.); diam. 21.6 cm (8 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection

Reference Number


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 . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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