Bronze mythical creature of the Spring and Autumn Period
There were two bronze mythical creatures unearthed from the grave of Chu State in Xujialing, with nearly the same modeling. The one you saw just now is one of them. This big grave of Chu State had been robbed; tomb robbers pushed over the bronze mythical creatures and their initial positions were changed, so it is difficult for experts to infer the use of them exactly now. Some experts speculated that they are inviolable beasts guarding the tomb, that is "Tubo" recorded in "The Song of Chu".
The expert says that the head shape of the mythical creature shows to people the dragon appearance in the eyes of Chu people in the Spring and Autumn Period.
There are still disputes for the use of the bronze mythical animal, but accepts that this pair of mythical animals has displayed the highest level in bronze casting of the Spring and Autumn Period. Its sophisticated modeling and decoration also has shown the aesthetic orientation of emphasizing decorations for Chu people. Driven by this aesthetics, during the Spring and Autumn Period, the bronze casting level of China had reached to a new step.
"Tubo" is the god underground in Chu people's hearts.
In the bronze history of China, there had been 2 most glorious ages, the late Shang Dynasty and the Spring and Autumn Period. In the late Shang Dynasty, craftsmen had mastered the technique for large bronze casting. At that time, the most representative thing was the Simuwu Rectangle Ding unearthed from the Yin Ruins in Anyang, Henan. As to the Spring and Autumn Period, craftsmen paid more attention to vessels with complex appearances, multiple functions and magnificent decorations instead of large bronze casting only, the bronze mythical animal was the representative. Experts said that ancient craftsmen used separation process to cast different parts of the mythical animal's body, and even used a unique process, lost wax process, for some parts.
Lost wax method is that a blank is made with beeswax, topped with a very fine slurry, dried, dew axed, processed and corrected, in such a process, it is cast into bronze ware. Lost wax method is always used to cast bronze ware with very complicated structure. With such process, it is made very sophisticatedly and finely. Lost wax method was applied mainly in the Yangtze River region, which belonged to the area of Chu Culture, so it can be said that this bronze mythical animal represents very high level of process in bronze ware of Chu State and is well known as a masterpiece.
A set of wine-jar pan unearthed from the tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng in Suizhou, Hubei is the bronze boutique cast by lost wax process. Wine-jar was a kind of vessel for holding wine, while pan was the vessel for holding water.
During the Expo 2010 Shanghai in China, the bronze
mythical animal was exhibited in the China Pavilion in the Expo as the selected
culture relic of Henan Museum. The fantastic and beautiful bronze mythical
animal had displayed the old, magical Chu Culture of China and the high bronze
casting level of ancient Chinese 2000 years ago to visitors all over the