Bronze vessel reflects ferocious aesthetics of Shang Dynasty

Updated: Sep 19, 2022 Print
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Bronze zun (wine vessel) with dragon and tiger patterns dates back to the Shang Dynasty. [Photo/Official WeChat account of the National Museum of China]

A bronze zun (wine vessel), dating back to the Shang Dynasty (c.16th century-11th century BC), boasts exquisitely decorative patterns. Three-dragon reliefs can be found on its shoulder, and on the outside wall of its belly, three groups of two-tiger-eating-a-man reliefs are separated by three ridges.

The dragon and tiger patterns on the vessel not only present the dynasty’s ferocious aesthetics, but also provide evidence for the study of history and society at that time.

Salvaged from a river in Funan county, Anhui province, in 1957, the bronze zun is part of the permanent collection of the National Museum of China.

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