Collection online

you

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1983,0420.1

  • Description

    Bronze vesel, 'you'. 'Taotie' face and inscription. Made of gold and silver inlaid bronze.

  • School/style

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 18thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 23.2 centimetres (to handle)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
  • Curator's comments

    Rawson 1992:
    This vessel is a copy of a 'you' of the middle Western Zhou. However, although the vessel is intended to be a faithful copy and may even have been made to deceive, the use on inlay is anachronistic, as gold and silver were not employed on vessels of the Western Zhou period.Michaelson 2006:
    This example is an archaistic one, made during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) as a copy of the ancient shape. Such copies were made to show respect for past traditions and were inspired by catalogues of antiques printed either by the imperial court or rich antique collectors. Gold and silver inlay was not used on bronze until the Eastern Zhou period (771-221 BC), so the use of inlay here is anachronistic. The Chinese felt that by copying old and revered antiques they were expressing a reverence for the past, particularly that of the Zhou dynasty, during which Confucius lived, and they talked of an idyllic period of golden rule at the beginning of that dynasty. The 'taotie' mask on the vessel can be seen as a quirky pastiche of the original monster mask decoration

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Cowell, et al. 2003 bibliographic details
    • Rawson 1992 figure 48 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1983

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1983,0420.1

COMPASS Title: Bronze you inlaid with gold and silver

Unknown

COMPASS Title: Bronze you inlaid with gold and silver

Image description

Recommend


Feedback

If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: RRC16409

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 

Supporters

Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help  

Loading...