Ancient Chinese Bells & Chimes
A collection of photo images of ancient Chinese chime stones and bronze bells from the Shang dynasty (16th to 11th centuries B.C.) up to the latter part of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911 A.D.). This album also includes a sampling of jade chimes.
China, probably Shanxi Province, ancient state of Jin Bell with Suspension Loop (Bo) and Coiled and Interlaced Dragons, Mid. Eastern Zhou dyn., late Spring and Autumn per. or early Warring States per., about 500-450 B.C. Metalwork; bronze
Nao (Bronze Bell), Western Zhou Period, 1066 - 771 BC, Zhejiang Provincial Museum, Hangzhou. The spirals on this bell are usually interpreted as a cloud design. Small knobs punctuate the body of the nao at regular intervals (nine, an auspicious number, on each half-face of the bell), and a stylized taotie decorates the midline of the bell at its lip.
"Dancing Bell", Shang Dynasty, 16th - 11th century BC, Shanxi Museum. The title of this object is a literal translation from the Chinese museum label. It is a clapperless bell, whose sound was made by attached chains that struck its body when shaken.
Bell Set, Tomb of Marquis Yi, Warring States Period, circa 430 BC. This bell set from the tomb of Marquis Yi is considered one of the finest artifacts from the Warring States Period. The 65 gold-inlaid, bronze bells cover five octaves and range in size from eight inches high (5 lbs) to five feet high (448 lbs). According to an inscription on the central bell, it was a gift from King Hui of Chu and was cast in 433 B.C. Marquis Yi was a relatively minor vassel of Chu.
Bell Set. Shandong Provincial Museum. These clapperless bells are worked with intricate surface designs. Although these bells have handles, they are not handle bells. They were suspended from a frame, like the one seen here, and struck on the side to produce the tone.