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This is a large, hammered bronze offering vessel from the Yunnan Province in China. It likely dates to the Song Dynasty (906-1279 AD). For a nearly identical example see “Offering Vessels of Yunnan” by Michael C. Teller, TK Asian Antiquities 2004, p. 53.
These mysterious vessels were apparently used for making votive offerings and have been found containing items such as shells, paper, and personal artifacts etc.
This particular example is relatively large compared to other known examples. It has a rich green patina with what appears to be longitudinal streaks. These streaks could be the result of its burial or storage environment or they could be the remnants of painted decorations common on these type vessels.
This vessel has the customary twisted wire clasp and hinge. The clasp, hinge and all attachment points are intact and firm. The repousse star pattern on the lid and the lotus petal decoration (also repousse) on the base are also consistent with known examples.
There are minor losses to the bronze in both the upper and lower portions. This is quite common on these type vessels primarily because the bronze is very thin (between 1 and 2 mm).
The total height of this piece is 31 cm and weight is 1241 grams. Please see the exquisite micrographs in the enlargements