early 400s BC
Overall: 41.4 cm (16 5/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1962.44
Music in the Eastern Zhou dynasty not only served ritual purposes but also provided entertainment in feudal courts. The elliptical cross-section of the Chinese bronze bell is unique; it could produce two notes depending on where the bell is struck, either at the rim or near the center. The bell is suspended when played and often belongs to a graduated set arranged according to pitch and size. This bell displays elaborate ornamentation and exquisite workmanship. A twin-bodied serpent intertwined with two tigers forms the suspension loop at the top. Coiled serpents form the knobs on the body. The lower part bears an animal mask, its horns interlaced with abstract bird designs.
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