Serving Vessel (Gui) Maker: Unknown

854 B.C.E.

Asian Art

On view, 2nd floor, Asian Art

The long, remarkably preserved 104-character inscription on the interior indicates that this bronze vessel was cast as part of a set, which was produced during property negotiations between an individual called Diao Sheng and some of his patrilineal relatives after the death of his father. Diao is a reference to his mother’s family. The sweeping serpentine forms on the surface of the bronze are typical of vessels cast in Shaanxi Province, as are the phoenix-headed handles.




8 1/4 × 8 5/8 in. (21 × 21.9 cm)

Credit Line

Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Gift of Mrs. William H. Moore

Accession Number



Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 B.C.E.)


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



C. T. Loo (Ching Tsai Loo, dealer, 1880–1957), New York; Mrs. William H. Moore (1858–1955), New York by 1954; given to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1954
  • Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 285, ill
  • George J. Lee, Selected Far Eastern Art in the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1970), 121–122, no. 237, ill
  • Phyllis Ackerman, Ritual Bronzes of Ancient China (New York: The Dryden Press, 1945), pl. 33
  • Max Loehr, "Beitrage zur Chronologie der Älteren Chinesischen Bronzen," Ostasiatische Zeitschrift 1 (1936), NF 12, Helf 1/2, Tafel 5, Abb. 14
  • Tch'ou To-yi and Paul Pelliot, Bronzes antiques de la Chine appartenant a C. T. Loo et cie (Paris: G. Van Oest, 1924), pl.10
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type



104 character inscription: "In the fifth year, the first month, on the day of chi-ch'ou, Tiao Chen, having a business affair, came to Chao (Shao) to transact it. I presented a "hu" vase to the Chin (Tsin) family, remarking, "The order of the Seigneur (Lord of Chao) was that I should check (up) the fields belonging to the subjects of the prince which are near the walls, as their boundaries appeared to be very erroneous. I Po (my man) has assisted me in these verifications. Where (it was stated) that you had encroached by three (tenths) you had only encroached by two (tenths); where (it stated) you had encroached by two (tenths) you had only encraoched by one (tenths). I am touched by the great favor of the seigneur (Lord of Chao) and I thank the Chin family for their gift of a piece of silk, and a huang pendant. Shao Po-hu said that because I was respectful I would not refuse what was in the agreement with the orders of his father and mother; also he hoped that I would come back again as his father and mother consider me as a conscientious gentleman."\r\n\r\n

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