- Museum number
Double-ram zun; bronze vessel in the shape of a jar flanked by the heads and forequarters of two rams, with curling and rounded horns, and bodies covered with a pattern of scales. Designs of animal masks fill the rectangular panels below the vessel opening. On the underside are a semi-circular loop at the centre and two pairs of C-shaped projections at the sides.
- Production date
- 1200BC-1050BC (circa)
Diameter: 17 centimetres (mouth; max)
Diameter: 14 centimetres (mouth; min)
Height: 45.10 centimetres
Weight: 10.60 kilograms
Width: 41 centimetres
Depth: 20 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- This vessel is one of the most important Chinese bronzes in the British Museum collection in terms of its distinctive style which associates it with a manufacture tradition outside of the contemporary Shang centres. The object was probably made in the Yangtze valley, where three dimensional animal designs prevailed as surface decoration of bronzes. A famous example of this is the four-ram zun vessel found at Ningxiang, Hunan. Another comparable object is the double-ram zun in the collection of the Nezu Museum in Tokyo, said to have come from Changsha, Hunan.
Recent technical investigation of the object confirms that the ram heads were cast as an integral part of the vessel while the horns were pre-cast and attached by lock-on casting to the ram heads. Scientific examination of this object has also indicated extensive use of spacers in the casting process, which distinguishes this object from most Shang bronzes from Anyang.
- On display (G33/dc4b/s2)
- Exhibition history
2003 18 Oct-14 Dec, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, 'Treasures of the World's Cultures'
2004 17 Jan-28 Mar, Kobe City Museum, 'Treasures of the World's Cultures'
2004 10 Apr-13 Jun, Fukuoka Art Museum, 'Treasures of the World's Cultures'
2004 26 Jun-29 Aug, Niigata Bandaijima Art Museum, 'Treasures of the World's Cultures'
2005 11 Apr-10 Jul, Seoul Arts Centre, 'Treasures of the World's Cultures'
2005 25 Jul-8 Oct, Busan Museum, 'Treasures of the World's Cultures'
2005 27 Oct-2006 31 Jan, Haengso Museum, Keimyung University, Daegu, 'Treasures of the World's Cultures'
2009 1 May-20 Sep, Victoria, Royal BC Museum, 'Treasures of the World's Cultures'
2012 18 Apr–17 July, Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, ‘Treasures of the World’s Cultures’
2015 Jan-Feb, Tokyo, Nezu Museum, 'Animal Worship'
- Acquisition date
- Registration number