- Gallery Text
At its most basic level, casting bronze entails pouring a molten mixture of copper and tin into a mold and letting the mixture harden as it cools. In ancient China, the actual process was quite complex and involved ceramics technology in virtually every step. First, a model of the desired shape was created in clay and fired in a kiln; next, fresh clay was packed around this ceramic model, removed in multiple sections, and fired; and finally, the hardened section molds created in this process were reassembled around a ceramic core with space set between core and molds, and molten bronze was poured into this assemblage. The production of bronzes in China was inextricably linked to the region’s millennia-long ceramics tradition — in its use of kiln technology, its adaptation of ceramic vessels for bronze vessel shapes (such as the tripod ewer displayed here), and the creation of a casting method reliant on a potter’s skills.
- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
- Long Turquoise-Inlaid Dagger-Axe with Curved Haft
- Ritual Implements
- Work Type
- 14th-11th century BCE
- Creation Place: East Asia, China
- Shang dynasty, c. 1600-c. 1050 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
- Bronze with turquoise inlay
- L. 40.2 x W. 9.4 x Thickness 1.0 cm (15 13/16 x 3 11/16 x 3/8 in.)
- [C. T. Loo & Co., New York, October 1, 1940] sold; to Grenville L. Winthrop, New York (1940-1943), 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
Re-View: S228-230 Arts of Asia, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 05/31/2008 - 06/01/2013
32Q: 1740 Early China I, Harvard Art Museums, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050
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