The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of May 25, 2024

Bronze Ritual Bell

Bronze Ritual Bell

Diameter: 14 cm (5 1/2 in.); Overall: 22.6 cm (8 7/8 in.)
Location: 236 Korean

Did You Know?

The inscription informs us that this miniature indoor bell was produced in 1226.


This miniature bell was once used as part of Buddhist indoor rituals. Likely suspended in a Buddhist temple, it features a cast dragon and a vertical tube to amplify the sound on top, and is decorated with Buddhist figures seated on lotuses. The echoing sound of the bell was thought to help Buddhist believers understand the significance of transience and impermanence; the sound instantly fades away as soon as one hears it. This sensory experience creates a striking conceptual parallel with Buddhist teachings, including the idea that all things and beings exist merely in our perception or imagination. An inscription indicates it was cast in the year of the dragon and took three years to make.
  • ?-1978
    Roger Chambard [1904-1982], Paris, France, to the Honorable Joseph P. Carroll and Roberta Carroll, MD
    The Honorable Joseph P. Carroll and Roberta Carroll, MD, New York, NY
    (Joseph P. Carroll, Ltd., New York, NY, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art)
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
    Provenance Footnotes
    1 French Ambassador to Republic of Korea, 1959-1969 
  • Turner, Evan H., "The Year in Review for 1992." The Bulletin of The Cleveland Museum of Art 80, no. 2 (February 1993): 38-77. Reproduced: p.45, fig.414
    Cleveland Museum of Art, and Michael R. Cunningham. Masterworks of Asian Art. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art; New York: Thames and Hudson, 1998. Reproduced: p. 235
    Goryeo Dynasty: Korea's Age of Enlightenment, 918-1392. San Francisco: Asian Art Museum, 2003. Reproduced: p. 188, no. 56; p. 191, no. 57, Mentioned: p. 168
    Choi, Eung-chon. “Metal Arts in the Late Goryeo Period [고려후기의 금속공예].” Kangjwa misulsa (2004): 125-156.
    Choi, Eung-chon. “Craftsmen in Metal Arts in the Goryeo Dynasty [고려시대 金屬工藝의 匠人].” Misulsahak yeongu (2004): 171-192.
    Kim, Eunae. "A Study of Repoussé Works of Goryeo [고려시대 타출 공예 연구]." Korean Journal of Art History (March 2007): 31-72.
    The spirit of Goryeo in metalcrafts [금속공예에깃든고려인의삶]. Seoul: Jeju National Museum and National Cheongju Museum, 2011.
    Bronze in Life and Art [삶과 예술 속. 청동 靑銅 이야기] National Cheongju Museum (2016).
    Goryeo: The Glory of Korea [대고려, 그 찬란한 도전]. Seoul: National Museum of Korea, 2018.
    Ch'a, Mi-rae, Kwi-suk An, Cleveland Museum of Art, and 국외소재문화재재단. The Korean Collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Edited by An Min-hŭi. First edition, English ed. Overseas Korean Cultural Heritage Series, 16. Seoul, Republic of Korea: Overseas Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation, 2021. Mentioned and reproduced: p. 130-131, no. 93
  • Selected Acquisitions. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (February 9-April 11, 1993).
    Korean Art: Images from the Land of the Morning Calm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (October 23, 1990-January 13, 1991).
    Korean National Museum, Seoul, South Korea (July 1982-October 1984). (no. 1776.3-1149/2)
  • {{cite web|title=Bronze Ritual Bell|url=false|author=|year=1226|access-date=25 May 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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