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Zhong with interlaced hydra tie

Tags: bell | bronzes | Spring and Autumn Period

Bells were an ancient musical instrument. The kind that was hung individually and used individually is called a ‘special bell'. The shape of the ‘special bell' is usually larger than the regular one. Because the special bell is hung individually, there is only one found most of the time. However, there were four of them, varied in size, unearthed in the tombs of the Zheng Lord of the Spring and Autumn Period in Xinzheng, and this bronze bell with the semi-circular knobs is the largest one of that group. The body of the bell is made to be like it was two tiles combined in one. Hitting different parts of the bell produces different high and low sounds. There is a shaped hollow decoration on top of the special bell. It is decorated with little reptiles like snakes and lizards. That is why it is called ‘the special bell with semi circular knobs'. This decoration is used to hang the bell. When it is hung, the whole body of the bell would not inclined in any one way. It would be hanging straight down, the bottom of the bell lined up with the ground. There are three rows of dragon shaped beads; the beads are the round protruding decoration on the body of the bell. There are designs of two intertwined dragons in between the beads, and the lowest spot on the body of the bell that you can strike is also filled with the design of the intertwined dragons.


National Museum of History