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Serving Vessel, known as the “Song Gui”

ca.825 B.C.E.

Bronze

11 5/8 × 12 3/8 × 17 1/4 in. (29.53 × 31.43 × 43.82 cm)
Gift of Wilson P. Foss, Jr., Ph.B. 1913
1952.51.11a-b
Horned animal heads decorate the handles and feet of this serving vessel, and the cover can be turned over for use as a platter. A 152-character inscription, cast on the underside and inside the cover, explains that the vessel was made by the order of King Mu of Zhou, the fifth king of the Zhou dynasty, to commemorate his audience with a distinguished individual named Song, and it lists the gifts he presented to him. This inscription ends with a dedication in which Song extolls the king’s benificence, and explains that this vessel we intended for use during sacrifices in honor of Song’s deceased parents. It was once part of a set of ritual vessels bearing similar inscriptions.
Geography: 
China
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
Chinese
Period: 
Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 B.C.E.)
Classification: 
Containers - Metals
Provenance: 

Parish-Watson Collection No. 9; Wilson P. Foss Jr.; gift in 1952 to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

David Ake Sensabaugh, The Scholar as Collector: Chinese Art at Yale, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2004), 42, no. 7.

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 such records is ongoing.