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Bronze gui
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This imposing bronze vessel is a gui, a Chinese ritual vessel for food offerings used in the Shang and throughout the Zhou period. The inscription inside the gui tells that King Wu’s brother, Kang Hou (Duke of Kang), and Mei Situ were given territory in Wei (in Henan province) in recognition of their contribution to the Zhou state. The inscription can be dated because it refers to a Shang rebellion and its successful defeat by the Zhou.

During the Shang period (about 1500-1050 вс), bronze vessels bearing cast inscriptions were occasionally made to commemorate particular events. These cast bronze inscriptions served to communicate the political and social achievements of the vessels’ owners. In 1050 вс King Wu conquered the Shang dynasty and established the Zhou dynasty. Bronze inscribed vessels became much more common during this period. Today, they are vital historical documents.

Bronze gui

From China, 11 th century вс
Ht 21.6 cm

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