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Rare Chinese Tang Dynasty Spun Bronze Bowl (AD 618 - 906)


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Chinese: Metalwork: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1328353

Please refer to our stock # MA025 when inquiring.
Brian Page Antiques
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Brighton, Sussex,
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Rare Chinese Tang Dynasty Spun Bronze Bowl (AD 618 - 906)

This rare "spun" bronze bowl was made during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618 - 906). Its wall is relatively thin as it was made by the spinning technique as opposed to having been cast (see below for more information). Its form is what some refer to as an alms bowl. It has a particularly smooth surface. In places are "calcified" deposits from long burial including malachite (green) deposits. The pattern of burial deposits to the outer wall show this bowl more than likely sat, at an angle, on top of another similar bowl.

Diameter 14.5 cm (5.75 inches), height 8.75 cm (3.5 inches). Some surface marks and a short split to the rim, otherwise, good condition with no repair or restoration.

For information, from the fine 1987 book, Korean Art from The Brooklyn Museum, by Robert J. Moes, to describe the manufacturing process of spun bronze vessels: "Spun bronze involved mounting a small bronze cylinder on a lathe-like device and drawing the malleable metal out to its final shape while it spun at high speed. This technique permitted thinner walls, making the vessel considerably lighter than its cast counterpart, thus requiring less bronze." Although this description is of Korean spun bronze bowls, the same technique was undoubtedly used in the manufacture of Chinese examples.

See also our other Tang spun bronze bowl, stock number MA024. Although MA024 is the smaller bowl, this bowl (MA025) has a slightly thinner wall and weighs less at 308g (MA024 weighs 322g).

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