National Palace Museum Taipei, 1970. HC. Item #45752
Chinese bronzes were prevalent in the Shang and Chou dynasties. This art underwent some changes toward the end of the Spring-Autumn period, and was revived during the Warring States. However it was on the delcine by Han dynasty. The drinking vessels (I) and the tripots (Ting) of early Chin were discovered buried in the mountainsides and understream in the times of Han. These important ritual vessels of antiquity were duly catalogued during Northern Sung. In bronze-making, sacrificial vessels came first. Later, royal orders and commands, terse literary compositions were all cast on the Is and Tings. Other ones were cast to commemorate ancestors. Later, elaborate utensils were made for honorary, celebration and marriage purposes. Still later, carriage parts and harness decorations and weapons were also cast. As for the inscribed texts on the bronzes, they are of great historical value. Most of the National Palace Museum bronze collection are inscribed and give historians useful material for study. -- Preface.