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The art of bronze casting during the Shang and Western Zhou dynasties was based on the fundamentals of pottery making practised during the Neolithic period. There are three distinctive styles of practical use: wine vessels such as jue, gu and jia, food vessels such as ding, fang ding, li and gui, and water vessels such as pan. The Shang and Western Zhou developed along similar lines but each has its own characteristics. The most obvious of these characteristics is that Shang had a very rich variety of wine vessels while Western Zhou paid more attention to the development of food vessels. Taking a lesson from the fall of the Shang, the Zhou people by contrast did not adopt the habits of drinking wine freely. The government ordered people not to drink at gatherings on pain of punishment by death. This was the political background for the great decrease in the number of bronze wine vessels in the early Zhou, and the eventual complete disappearance of many such vessels. As a result, very few bronze drinking vessels of the late Western Zhou have been found.
 
23 A Ritual Food Vessel (Gui) with Inscriptions
Western Zhou(1100-771BC)
H:17.2 cm W:29.8 cm
24 A Bronze Mirror
Warring States (475-221BC)
D:22.1 cm
106 A Ritual Food Container (Ding)
Warring States (475-221BC)
H:21.3 cm Body.D:26.8 cm
196 A Dagger-Axe (Ge) with Inscriptions
Western Zhou(1100-771BC)
H:18.5 cm W:9.2
43 A Ritual Wine Vessel (Jia)
Shang (1600-1100BC)
H:27.6 cm
44 A Ritual Cooking Vessel (You) with Inscriptions
Western Zhou(1100-771BC)
H:19.6 cm
45 A Bronze Wine Container
Warring States (475-221BC)
H:10.4 cmBody.D:10.2 cm
107 A Rectangular Bronze Wine Container (Lei)
Han (206BC-220AD)
H:21.6 cmBody.D:10.3 cm
   
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