Friday, May 24, 2013


Period: Spring and Autumn to early Warring States period.
Medium: Nephrite jade.
Colour: Light green with patches of brown.
Dimensions: H. 20 cm.; L. 23 cm.; D. 7.3 cm.

The bull is carrying what appear to be three lidded containers.  However, the body is completely hollowed so that whatever was added through the holes was combined within the body.

The three lids are connected by a mythical winged beast.  The mouth of the beast is open, perhaps in a growl, and its tail ends in the head of a bird.

The body of the bull is covered in elaborate low-relief carving of taotie and birds.

Several areas display bird script, also carved in low relief.

A bronze vessel of similar form was apparently found around 1923.  Unfortunately I cannot lay my hands on the details, but will add to this if I do find them.

The bronze zun vessel is on the web site and is dated to the Spring and Autumn period (c.771 - 476 BC).  It is housed in the Shanghai Museum and was thought to have been used for warming wine.  It has no lid.  The dimensions of this vessel are - H. 33.7 cm.; L. 58.7 cm.