A zun with incised and relief decoration

 A zun with incised and relief decoration

Late Shang dynasty (ca. 1600-1050 b.c.), 13th - 11th century b.c.
Probably from Anyang, Henan Province, China
H. 10 in. (25.4 cm)

This ritual wine vessel, or zun, is a fine example of ancient Chinese artisanship, dating from the latter part of the Shang dynasty. In earlier years, Shang bronzeworkers had imitated pottery shapes and decoration; later the compliment was returned when pottery began to imitate metalwork. This zun reflects the influence of bronze ware: the shape, the small relief flanges, and bosses on the incised decorative bands are an homage to bronzeworks made on a grander scale.