Height: 3 7/8 inches, 9.8 cm
Diameter: 4 3/8 inches 11.1 cm


Bronze bowl on tall foot

China, early Tang dynasty, 7th century

A bronze bowl of deeply rounded U-section, supported on a high trumpet foot. The sides of the bowl are completely unadorned, except for a single groove just below the lip. The originally shiny metal is blackened in places and both the interior and the exterior of the bowl are partially covered in an attractive patina, which includes areas of malachite and lapis encrustation.

Plain vessels made of relatively thin bronze with a high tin content, such as bottles, cups, bowls and basins were used in Buddhist rituals throughout the Tang dynasty. These vessels invariably rely on the strength of their form for effect, and their plainness very much befits Buddhist principles. Similar bowls were exhibited at the Kuboso Memorial Museum of Art in Izumi, Japan in 1999.[1]

Ben Janssens Oriental Art, October 2004
Private Collection, UK

  1. Special Exhibition Tin-Bronze of China, October 10 – November 23, 1999, Kuboso Memorial Museum of Art, Izumi, Japan, nos. 24 – 26