Bronze vessel of the type called gui. This vessel is known as the Xing Hou gui based on its inscription. It has a rounded body constricted at the neck; deeply curving sides are complemented by four handles. An intaglio cicada is located opposite each handle. Each of the four compartments of the vessel’s surfaces is filled with a fabulous creature that seems to have been based upon an elephant; it has a long trunk and two roundels above its head, suggesting the bumps on an elephant’s forehead. Other features are taken from traditional bronze motifs, including quills used for its limbs and a spiralling ridge on its body derived perhaps from the earlier coiled dragon.
Production date: 1050BC-771BC (circa)
Museum number: 1936,1118.2
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