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Lei with cloud and dragon pattern

Tags: bronzes | Spring and Autumn Period | vessel | wine

The Lei, a bronze wine jar, a vessel for containing liquid, was used in worshipping ceremonies and banquets.
The wine jar with a cloud and dragon design was one of the bronze representations of the Spring and Autumn period, and was unearthed at Li's building in Xinzheng, Henan in 1923. The jar has a mouth that opens outward, a short neck, a round shoulder, and a belly that shrinks inward towards a flat bottom. There are four large double-dragon designs that were intertwined with a winged square dragon and a winged round dragon as decorative handles on top of the shoulder, and the mouth of the round dragon has a small ring in it. Please look at them carefully. The scales of the two dragons are also different. The square dragon has a thin, triangular whirlpool design, and the body of the round dragon has wavy scales. They are a male and a female, and their two tails are intertwined.The belly of the jar has a striped design with an animal in the shape of the character with a double hook. Beneath the stripe design is a triangular banana leaf, on top of which there are many little dragons intertwined. A special feature is the four round dents on the body of the jar where originally there were four golden dragon decorations which have sadly fallen off.

 National Museum of History