Henan Museum
Bronze Vessel Fu with the Patterns of Coiled Serpent
Edit: acf
Time: 2024-07-04 10:06:28
Period: The Spring and Autumn period (770-476 BC)
Provenance: No.3 burial pit of Xiasi, Xichuan county, 1978
Measurements: H.19.5 cm, W. 6.1 kg

The vessel has a straight mouth, a rectangular body, beast head-shaped handles on each end of the body, a flat bottom which rests on the four rectangular feet, the bottom edges were thickened with peach-formed voids on the four edges. The forms of the cover and body are identical except for the four edge fasteners on the cover, with four on the long edges and two on the   short edges. The edge fasteners are in the shape of the beast head in relief. The exterior of the vessel and the top of the cover were ornamented with fine coiled serpents. The cover and the bottom of the vessel were all cast with inscriptions, unfortunately, most of them were illegible due to corrosion.

According to the ancient texts, the vessel Fu is likely a kind of container for holding crops, and the archaeological finds further attest to its function for containing grains. During the  Western Zhou dynasty, “food containers were much more prized, whereas the wine vessels were disliked” by the aristocrats, hence, the quantity of the survived traditional wine vessels of the Shang dynasty decreased dramatically. Bronze vessel Fu emerged in the middle Western Zhou period. The example from the No.3 burial pit at Xiasi of Xichuan county has the slope upward wall at the lower part and bend into the straight ones, which resulted in an evidently increased volume, the form was carried on till the end of the Warring State period.