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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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model / bell

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.135

  • 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
      • Inscription Script

        Kaishu
      • Inscription Position

        on exterior
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • 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 已經 (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

    More 

  • Bibliography

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

    G95/dc12/sh8

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

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

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.135

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.

Copyright SOAS All rights reserved

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Object reference number: RRC38554

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