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Baigan qi xu
   Western Zhou Dynasty (1046B.C.-771 B.C.)

Xu was a special kind ware used by people of Zhou Dynasty to hold such food as rice. According to studies, Xu was invented at around the mid-Western Zhou Dynasty, prevalent at late Western Zhou and gradually disappeared in the early years of Spring and Autumn Period. This piece of Baigan qi xu of mid Western Zhou Dynasty is one of the earliest bronze xu found by now. Thus it is of great significance for people to study the origin of xu which had a short life time as a kind of bronze sacrificial vessel. This piece of xu is in a rectangular groove shape with one animal head-shaped loop on both sides and four flat feets. The surface of lid was slightly raised with a loop button in the middle to lift easily. What’s more, there were four skillfully-designed flat buttons on the lid’s surface and thus it can be used as the plate to hold the food when put upside down. 
There are inscriptions both on its lid and the inner wall of its belly i.e. 18 characters in 3 lines on the lid and 12 characters in 3 lines on the inner wall. The inscriptions both clearly indicate that it is a kind of gui. Through the inscriptions and other findings, after the experts’ research, it can be asserted that xu definitely developed from gui. Another special point of this pair xu is that the inside surface only rusted a little since the lid and the rectangular groove buckled very tightly. The right corner of one xu has gone through even no erosion and still glitteres like the original one as it was firstly made.

 


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