Shang Dynasty bronze cymbal with beast face patterns

Updated: Mar 20, 2023 Print
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Bronze cymbal ( nao) with beast face patterns [Photo/Official WeChat account of the Nanjing Municipal Museum]

This large bronze cymbal (nao), dating back to the Shang Dynasty (c.16th century-11th century BC), is wider at the top and narrower at the bottom with an oval-shaped cross-section. The cymbal’s center and rim can be struck to produce sound with its hollow handle placed on a wooden frame. Beast face and cloud patterns decorate both sides of the cymbal.

As the earliest and largest bronze cymbal found in Nanjing, it is a treasure in the permanent collection of the Nanjing Municipal Museum.

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