Fortnightly Selection

The "Min er quan" Fanglei

Shang Dynasty (1600BC-1046BC)
Unearthed in 1919 at Maoshanyu, Shuitian Village, Taoyuan County, Hunan Province. 
Total height: 88cm; length of mouth: 26.1cm; width of mouth: 21.6cm 

On the lid carved an eight-word inscription: 皿而全作父己尊彝(皿:family name of the owner, 而全:given name of the owner, 己: posthumous name of the owner’s father, 尊彝:wine vessel )while on the jar body is an six-word inscription: 皿作父己尊彝. Featured with varied carving techniques, the container impressed people with its elegance and solemnity and was thus hailed as “King of all fangleis”. It was also considered a representative work of Shang Dynasty, the peak of Chinese bronze culture. Since its excavation in 1919, the body of the vessel had been separated from its lid for nearly a century until 2014,when it was brought from overseas and reunited with the other part. The whole antique is now collected in the Hunan Museum.