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model / bell

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Cizhou-type stoneware model of a bell. The model has transparent glaze. There are the Eight Trigrams and their corresponding characters applied on the body.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1450-1620
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 174 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Position

        on exterior
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

        乾,巽, 坎, 艮,坤,震,離,兌
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Qian, kan, gen, zhen, xun, li, kun and dui
      • Inscription Translation

        Heaven, Water, Mountain, Thunder, Wind, Fire, Earth and Lake [the names of the Eight Trigrams].
      • Inscription Comment

        The eight trigrams are: 乾 Qian "Heaven;" 巽 Xun "Wind;" 坎Kan, "Water;" 艮Gen, "Mountain;" 坤Kun "Earth," 震 Zhen "Thunder," 離 Li, "Fire;" and 兌 Dui, "Lake."
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : MingRoom 95 label text:

    PDF 135

    Model of a bell

    This stoneware model of a bell has the design inked onto the bell beneath the glaze. The glaze does not fit to the body well and much of it has been lost. It is decorated with a design of Eight Trigrams and their corresponding characters. The handle is modelled as a bear. The Eight Trigrams are arguably the most familiar symbols associated with Daoism. Trigrams, which are made up of combinations of three broken and unbroken parallel lines are the basis for the sixty-four hexagrams of the 易經 (Yijing ‘Book of Changes’). The sixty-four hexagrams are interpreted to make sense of the world, its history and its future. The eight trigrams are captioned with their names: 乾 Qian "Heaven;" 巽 Xun "Wind;" 坎Kan, "Water;" 艮Gen, "Mountain;" 坤Kun "Earth," 震 Zhen "Thunder," 離 Li, "Fire;" and 兌 Dui, "Lake." Margaret Medley (AD 1918–2000) noted that the bell was excavated under Japanese supervision in what is now Liaoning province.

    Stoneware with inked design, moulded and incised decoration, slip and a transparent glaze
    Possibly Liaoning province 遼寧省
    Ming dynasty, about AD 1450–1620


  • Bibliography

    • Hobson 1934 p. 104, pl. CIII bibliographic details
    • Medley 1980 pp 22-33, no.57, pl. VIII bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G95/dc12/sh8

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    2 February 2009

    Reason for treatment

    Permanent Exhibition

    Treatment proposal

    Consolidate glaze where necessary


    Loose areas of glaze laminating off body. Heavy glaze loss, does not appear to be any 'fresh' glaze loss. Crizzled glaze probably from manufacture. Edges of glaze and inside the crizzles is ingrained with dirt, possibly from burial conditions. Large blob of burial dirt in central top hole, quite sandy and loose.

    Treatment details

    Glazed surface cleaned with a 50:50 solution of de-ionised water and Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol, methanol) applied on cotton wool swabs and dried with a paper towel. Removed sandy block from the central hole and placed into a padded and labelled plastic box. Consolidated loose areas of the glaze with 5-20% Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) in 50:50 Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone) : Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol, methanol) applied via a glass micropipette. Areas that had large gaps between the glaze and the body were consolidated with small sheets of Paraloid B72, and Acetone applied via a micropipette to soften the Paraloid B72. Excess resin was removed with Acetone on small cotton wool swabs. All consolidation work was carried out under a microscope.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    R. L. Hobson, 1934 records: From the Moriya Collection, Kyoto.

  • Department


  • Registration number


Cizhou-type stoneware model of a bell.  The model has transparent glaze. There are the Eight Trigrams and their corresponding characters applied on the body.

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Object reference number: RRC38554

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