A Buddhist bell of similar shape but smaller size, dated by inscription to the 58th year of the Kangxi reign (1719), from the Shanyuan monastery, now in the Ancient Bell Museum, Beijing, was included in the exhibition La voix du dragon, Trésors Archéologiques et Art Campanaire de la Chine Ancienne, Musée de la Musique, Paris, 2000, cat. no. 107; together with a larger example, with a cyclical date corresponding to 1702, cat. no. 106. See also one dated to 1707 from the Bailin Monastery, now also preserved in the Ancient Bell Museum, Beijing. Another bell of this type, with stylised characters and attributed to the Kangxi reign, was sold in these rooms, 14th November 1990, lot 420.
Quan Jinyou in ‘L’histoire des cloches anciennes fanzhong en Chine’, La voix du dragon, op. cit., pp. 231-237, discusses bells of this type, noting that they developed with the introduction of Buddhism during the Han dynasty, when the term fanzhong began to be used. The earliest surviving bell with foliate rim, is however attributed to the Northern Song dynasty, ibid., cat. no. 76. Bells of this type grew in popularity during the Ming dynasty, when a large number of examples appear to have been cast. See for examples, a Buddhist and a Daoist bell, particularly similar in shape to the present example and also cast with rectangular panels under a band of lotus petals, from the Zhengde period, included ibid., cat. nos 85 and 86. Compare also a bell dated to 1532, in the Ethnographic Museum, Stockholm, illustrated in Sheila Riddell, Dated Chinese Antiquities, London, 1979, pl. 125, together with one of a similar form but decorated with archaistic animals and with an inscription dating it to 1499, pl. 124.
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