Vase. Bronze, four-sided, widest at top, covered with diaper and strap-work ornament, and having at the angles, and on the sides, rows of hooks. It is covered with a green patina.
The inscription in antique characters, occurs three times on the inside of the vessel. M Terrien de Lsoouperie translates the above as follows:--‘State of Wei. By royal order in the first year, first moon, first lucky day, 24th of cycle, the chief Ho, the noble, accordingly said with a great being ‘I dare to applaud’. The royal praises the use and making of this vase. To it be myriads of years! May the sons and the grandsons eternally and preciously use it.
Prince Ho (called Wu after his death), who ruled the state of Wei from the 15th year of King Suan of Zhou to the 14th year of King Yu (811-756 B.C.), held the office of chief of the States until the first year of King Ping, who appointed Duck Wen of Tsin in his stead. The only the first year of a king during Wu’s tenure of office being that of Yu, who ruled from 780 to 769 B.C., the date of vase is clearly shown by the inscription.
Comment by Jessica Rawson 25/7/90: On two vessels 196&A-1876. Are copies of a famous vessel now in the National Palace Museum, Taipe, called the ‘Mai zun’-recoded in ‘Xi Qing Gu Jian’ with its inscription. This vessel form fif not occur in pairs & thus on pair are anomalovs-faker didn’t know that fact. Other copies of ‘Mai zun’ exist- why were so many made? One of the central pattern bands contain plumed dragon, which are very rare and only occur on about six known vessels (see Rawson 1990). This decoration appears small-scale in bands on the bronzes from Ziwangbai (WW 1978.3). This site is very important because now used to date all W. Zhou sequences-on account of a ‘pan’ with a long genealogical inscription which links particular sites of vessels with Zhou rulers. This proves Tang Lan right, abd Chen Mengjia’s attribution to be incorrect.
The original ‘Mai zun’ is a late W. Zhou bronze. Our copy has mucky-looking lines, with bits of the pattern filled in.
See ‘Archaic Chinese Bronze’ Catalogue compiled by Ming Wilson FEC-1992.