Square Bronze Kettle
Square Bronze Kettle with Lotus and Crane Motif.
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The finest bronzeware in China -- Square Bronze Kettle with a Lotus and Crane Motif -- was unearthed in Lijialou Village, Xinzheng County of Henan Province in 1923. The Kettle was a burial article found in a tomb from the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770-256BC). With its unique and artistic characteristics, the Kettle reflects the new direction of development in decorative crafts of the period and is regarded as an artistic treasure. The cultural relic is on display at the Beijing Palace Museum.
The kettle, with a height of 118 cm and a diameter of 30.5 cm at the mouth, is especially unique and fine in style, as well as in its exquisite decorations. The kettle's surface was carved to resemble wriggled veins, and each of its four corners displays an engraved dragon; the bottom part is also engraved with two powerful, huge dragons that support its body.
The Kettle mouth is adorned with blooming Lotus petals and an exquisite Crane in the middle. The decorations demonstrated the delicate, pretty and living artistic conception, which breaks away from the solemn, stiff style of previous dynasties, marking a new start for Chinese decoration techniques.
Another similar Kettle from the same period was also discovered and is now on display at the Henan Provincial Museum. The two kettles are regarded as the finest bronzewares of their kind in China.
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