Zhou Dynasty

In the 11th century BCE, the Zhou erupted from the West and overthrew the declining
Shang and established an essentially feudalistic regime with a military aristocracy serving the Emperor at Lo-yang.
While continuing and modifying Shang bronze and jade styles, Zhou artists made their own
contributions to the development of the Chinese arts. Highly polished jade increasingly became a
medium for personal adornment and use as talismans. Stylized animal and human
forms came to characterize much of Zhou art.

This decorative or ornamental Zhou dagger with its jade blade and bronze handle testifies to the military as well as artistic interests of the Zhou conquerors of Shang China.

(Batterberry 14)

The bronze spiral finial with its flamboyant yet whimsical dragon's head once adorned the tip of a chariot pole.

(Batterberry 14)

Another example of elaborately decorated Zhou bronze vessel.

(NEH 95)

Jade disk (pi) of the late Zhou period.

(Fairbank 417)


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Batterberry, Michael. Chinese and Oriental Art. New York, et. al. McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1968

Fairbank, John, EdwinReischauer, Albert Craig. East Asia: Tradition and Transformation. Boston, et. al.: Houghton-Mifflin Co., 1978.

National Endowment for the Humanities. The Chinese Exhibition. Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 1975.