- Gallery Text
Music played a crucial role in the state rituals of late Bronze Age China. Believed to unify the thought and conduct of multitudes through melody and rhythm, it was also seen by philosophers as a manifestation of virtue. Among the many percussive, string, and wind instruments Bronze Age societies used in ceremonial rites, none loomed quite as large as magnificent bronze bells. Chinese musical bells were created in graduated sets, with each bell cast to a different size and tuned to a different pitch. The bells do not have interior clappers, but are instead completely hollow and must be struck on the exterior with a mallet or pole to emit their sound. Almond-shaped in cross-section, each bell produced two distinct tones, depending on whether it was struck near its center or side edge. Bells were cast by the same method used for bronze vessels; not surprisingly, they often have similar decorative patterns.
- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
- Ritual Bell (Bo zhong) with Stylized Dragon and Snake Decor and with Handle in the Form of Addorsed Birds
- Other Titles
- Alternate Title: po chung
- Ritual Implements
- Work Type
- 475 - 221 BCE
- Creation Place: East Asia, China
- Zhou dynasty, Warring States period, 475-221 BCE
- Persistent Link
Level 1, Room 1740, Early Chinese Art, Arts of Ancient China from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age
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- Physical Descriptions
- Cast bronze with greenish patina
- H. 51.2 x W. 36.8 x D. 31.1 cm (20 3/16 x 14 1/2 x 12 1/4 in.)
Weight 66 lb.
- Grenville L. Winthrop, New York (by 1943), bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1943.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- Asian and Mediterranean Art
- THIS WORK MAY NOT BE LENT BY THE TERMS OF ITS ACQUISITION TO THE HARVARD ART MUSEUMS.
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- Exhibition History
S427: Ancient Chinese Bronzes and Jades, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 10/20/1985 - 04/30/2008
32Q: 1740 Early China I, Harvard Art Museums, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050
- Subjects and Contexts
Google Art Project
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