Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Ritual wine vessel, or you, with thunder-scroll pattern

  • loan


    • currently in research collection

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.


Publications online

  • The Barlow Collection by the University of Sussex

    The Barlow Collection

    The vessel is of oval section, with a pear-shaped body, splayed foot, wide neck and a domed cover with a cylindrical section to hold it in place and a ring-shaped knob. The sides are flanked by two loops, which are fitted with an arched swing handle with two animal-mask terminals. The shoulder and cover are similarly decorated, but in slightly higher relief on the cover, with a band of dragon designs on a scrollwork (leiwen) ground. Each side shows a pair of stylized dragons centred on a raised hooked flange, with curled snouts, prominent eyes, crown-like horns, front claws and a body dissolved into a complex scroll motif. The main part of the vessel is divided by a grid of shallow raised bands, forming a cross at the front, back and both sides, with a further band around the joint of body and foot. The handle is decorated with a diamond-diaper design in relief, and the animal heads have thick hooked horns, long pointed ears, prominent eyes and a broad snout. The piece has a shiny surface with a thin light green patina.

    Inside the cover is a two-pictograph inscription, reading fu gui (‘father gui’); inside the vessel is a nine-pictograph inscription, with two clan signs followed by the characters zuo wen kao fu bao zun yi, recording who ‘made this precious sacrificial vessel for the ancestors’. The first clan sign has the form of an anthropomorphic figure wearing a headdress, within a cross-shaped enclosure in form of the character ya; the second may depict four hands with an object between them. It is unusual for vessel and cover to bear different inscriptions.

© 2013 University of Oxford - Ashmolean Museum