Aug 31, 2012
Aug 31, 2012

Bell with Diamond-Shaped Insignia

Bell with Diamond-Shaped Insignia

300s–100s BC

Part of a set. See all set records


Overall: 24.1 cm (9 1/2 in.)

The Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 1998.77.1



These rare, elegant bronze bells were made in a tribal village along the southern borders of China. They differ greatly from bells made in the central regions, which often come in large sets and in varying sizes, and feature complex decorative patterns. The distinctive shape of these bells resembles a tall helmet topped by a pair of horns. A rope may have been tied around the horns so that the bells could be suspended. Each bell is decorated with a diamond-shaped insignia—probably to mark tribal affiliation. Although the bells are indentical in size, each produces a different tone, which indicates that their casting was a highly refined process.

See also
Chinese Art
Type of artwork: 

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