Western Zhou dynasty

Thunder, dragon tails, wisps of clouds—the decorations on bronze vessels of this period connect the earthly and the divine.

1046–771 B.C.E.

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Square lidded ritual wine container (fangyi)
Square lidded ritual wine container (fangyi)

Zhou dynasty bronzes preserve one of the earliest forms of Chinese writing in their simple, highly pictographic inscriptions

<em>Da Ke Ding</em>
Da Ke Ding

Not for everyday use, this ritual bronze vessel is significant in function and in heft. It weighs over 400 pounds!

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