Details & Cataloguing

A VERY RARE AND IMPORTANT BRONZE OWL-HEADED RITUAL WINE VESSEL (HU)
EARLY EASTERN ZHOU DYNASTY,
8TH-7TH CENTURY BC
the stoutly cast pear-shaped body encircled by thirty horizontal grooves and supported on a straight ring foot, underneath a plain neck tapering on one end to a short channeled spout, the cover shaped as the head of a beaked raptor, with large eyes gazing upwards, two upright tab-shaped ears set in a shallow scrolled recess and the sharp down-curved beak separately hinged to the center of the mask, further set with a pair of loops supporting two large rings linked to a high swing handle made of movable sections, the lower-most sections secured by  a pair of nail-like knobs issuing from the shoulders, connected to the middle section by rotating hinge-like devices, in turn joined with a single yoke-shaped section over the top by the same devices as the lower-most joint, the interior of the cover engraved with a nine-character inscription, the patination of overall olive-green color, with light malachite encrustations  
Height 18 1/4  in., 46.5 cm
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