Western Zhou. Dynasty (1100 - 771 BCE)
Height: 23 cm.
Published and Exhibited
Weisbrod 30 Years, Spring 2002, March 19-26, New York, Weisbrod Chinese Art Ltd.
The tri-lobed body rises from three waisted cylindrical legs with a loop handle and a long slightly upturned spout. On the upper half of the body are three. main bands of décor. The central band is decorated with a pair of raised confronting birds with long plumes separated by a raised flange on a ground of leiwen spirals, c-curls, and triangles.
Encircling the shoulder above is a band of intaglio mask-like designs in the form of large hooked and quilled s-bands. Pendant lappets, each enclosing a raised cicada surrounded by c-curls and elongated leiwen; encircle the form below the main band of decoration.
The straight neck of the vessel flares out at the rim and is cast with similar band of birds with long plumes. Issuing from a ram’s head with protruding curled horns is a large ear-shaped handle hollowed out on the inner side facing the vessel. On the opposite shoulder springs forth a. spout cast with a pair of raised long-plumed birds. The spout terminates in a monster mask with wide protruding ears its mouth forming the opening of the spout.
The function of the vessel may have been for wine diluting or wine-warming.
For a similar He but with a cover and with three-dimensional flamboyant décor, see plate 78 illustrated in The Shanghai Museum of Art. Another He decorated with horned beasts on the lid, spout, and handle and with elephant trunk legs is illustrated in Bronzes and Jades of Ancient China, page 126.
A stout He and cover with less decoration and a straight spout is in the Shanxi History Museum, illustrated in The Compendium of Chinese Bronzes, Western Zhou, Volume 5, plate 115. Another Western Zhou He of elaborate decoration was excavated in Xinyi County, Guandong Province, illustrated in Wenwu, 1975, number 11, page 94.