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Zu-xin Jue

Tags: bronzes | Shang dynasty | vessel | wine

The zuxin wine pitcher is a artefact of the late Shang Dynasty, unearthed in Luoyang, Henan. The shape of its mouth is very peculiar. There is a long channel at the front called liu, a conduit for letting out water, while on the back there is a pointed tail that is about the same length as the liu, and there are two short, umbrella-like cylinders on the rim of the mouth. The style of the entire rim of the mouth is like a bird that is ready to fly. There are three legs shaped like a triangular knife under the round-bodied and round-bottomed cup part of the pitcher. The inner surface of the cup is decorated with a thunder storm design, and on the side of the cup there is a handle shaped like a beast. Inside the handle the two words, Zu Xin, are engraved, which is why it is called the zuxin wine pitcher.Wine pitchers were one of the bronze ritual implements used on such occasions as coming-of-age ceremonies or weddings, funerals and worshipping. The function of the pitcher was primarily to serve wine; it was not meant to to be drunk from.


National Museum of History