Tang Dynasty bell contains rare calligraphy art

Updated: Jul 12, 2022 Print
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The Jingyun Bell dating to the Tang Dynasty is a museum treasure of the Xi’an Beilin Museum, Shaanxi province. [Photo/Official WeChat account of the Xi’an Beilin Museum]

A bell, weighing six tons, was cast in the year of 711, the second year of the Jingyun reign (710-711) in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). There is a 292-character inscription written by then-Emperor Ruizong, showcasing his excellent calligraphy which is rare to see today.

The Jingyun Bell is made up of 26 bronze pieces and 32 protruding nipples on its outside wall, whose locations are well-arranged to render the bell’s deep sound. It reflects the superb bell cast more than 1,700 years ago.

The bell is preserved in a pavilion at the Xi’an Beilin Museum. Its sound has been recorded since 1983 and played by the China National Radio at the New Year’s Eve every year to celebrate the coming of the Spring Festival.

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