Henan Museum
Lotus-Crane Square Pot
Edit: Gp
Time: 2023-04-14 11:06:00
Period: Spring and Autumn period (770 - 476B.C.)
Provenance: Excavated from tomb of the Duke of Zheng state, Lijialou, Xinzheng county, 1923
Measurements: Height 117 cm, Length 25 cm in length, Width 31 cm

As a container for wine or water, it has a rectangular mouth, long neck, tapering belly, and ring foot. The cover was embellished with two-tiered lotus petals, and a centered crane, dragon-shaped handles on two sides, and dragon patterns fully covered the belly. The four corners of the container were respectively attached with a vertical dragon. Under the ring foot are two mythical beasts, with their heads turning one side, and tongues sticking out, serving as the support of the vessel with their back.

 With an elegant shape, smooth patterns, exquisite craftsmanship, the vessel indicates that the long lasting solemn and majestic style on bronze wares of Shang and Zhou dynasties was broken by strengthening the representation of the dynamic and sense of strength in the posture. The crane with spreading wings, seems to be about to fly, and the attached beasts, seems to be climbing the wall, all attach the vessel with charming art of perfect combination of stillness and action, innovation, vibration, and solemnity, mysticism.

 In the middle of the Spring and Autumn period, with the weakening authority of Zhou court, the vassal states were getting increasingly stronger, the political system which took the “rites” as its governmental and cultural base gradually collapsed. The present vessel of this period reflects the zeitgeist of the age which is characterized by ideological transformation and social upheaval.