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Rabbit-shaped zun 
   Western Zhou Dynasty (1046B.C.-771 B.C.)

This piece of rabbit-shaped zun, dating back to Western Zhou Dynasty about 2,900 years ago, is the earliest and the only one in rabbit shape. The rabbit is very life-like with three-petal harelip, four sets of hoof, two big ears throwing up and a short tail going down.
On its back there is another little rabbit as a button on the lid. Despite its small size, the nose and eyes are still very clear and lively. Taking it and the standing rabbit together, a vivid picture is presented as if a rabbit quietly lying in the grass to have a rest was suddenly wakened up by thump of hooves and sounds of the bow and arrow, and then she instinctively stood up and alertly looked around, being ready to escape at any time. Such artistic conception is quite ingenious.
There are 13 characters in 2 lines on the lid’s inner-surface, indicating that it was cast by an aristocrat called Dian of that time. Dian made this ritual vessel in honor of his reward of a utensil for adjusting bows from another aristocrat Feng ordered by the king of Zhou Dynasty.

 


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