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Loop Suspension Bell (Niuzhong)

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze.


Eastern Zhou dynasty, Spring and Autumn period (770–481 B.C.), 8th/6th century B.C.



About this artwork

Several types of chime bells were cast toward the end of China’s Bronze Age and were probably played together in concert. Smallest among these were niuzhong, which had concave rims. Niuzhong were cast in graduated sizes, assembled as a set (often of nine), and suspended from a horizontal beam in order of size. Each bell was designed to emit two distinct tones: one from striking the center of the lower panel, another from striking either corner. The mask centered on the striking panel of this bell is an abstraction of ferocious monster designs seen on earlier bronze vessels.


On View, Gallery 132


Arts of Asia


Loop Suspension Bell (Niuzhong)


China (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

799 BCE–500 BCE




34.8 × 19.9 cm (13 3/4 × 7 13/16 in.)

Credit Line

Samuel M. Nickerson Endowment

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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