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Very Ornate, Rare Ancient Bronze Bell (Pendant) 300 B.C.

CLASSIFICATION: Ancient Bronze Bell. Mounted onto chain (no charge). Mounted onto plaque or shadow box upon request (additional shipping charges apply).

ATTRIBUTION: Ancient China. Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.).

SIZE/MEASUREMENTS:

Height: 30 millimeters.

Breadth (at bail): 10 millimeters.

Diameter (at base): 20 x 17 1/2 millimeters.

Weight: 5.92 grams.

Chain: Contemporary gold tone 60 centimeters (24 inches). A wide variety of other chains are available upon request in sizes from 16 to 30 inches, and in metals ranging from gold and silver electroplate to sterling silver and solid 14kt gold. The default chain (absent contrary instructions) is gold tone, 24 inches.

CONDITION: Excellent. Intact with no significant impairments. Bale intact, but no clapper. Very light porosity (surface pitting caused by contact with earth while buried). Good finish. Professionally conserved.

DETAIL: This is very handsome, nice-sized ornate bronze bell circa fifth or fourth century B.C. attributed to the Warring States Period of Ancient China. These are quite rare, delicate, and therefore generally uncovered completely crushed and/or mutilated. This specimen is nearly perfect; entirely intact with no significant defects except a single small chip. As well the bale is entirely intact, though as is most often the case, there was no clapper. Unlike most smaller bronze artifacts which are completely disfigured by corrosion (porosity) the consequence of burial in caustic soil, this particular piece may almost be described as "pristine". By fate or fortune it came to rest in very gentle soil conditions for twenty-some centuries. Of course in these 250% photo enlargements you can clearly see evidence that it spent several millennia buried. However it does not exhibit the gross corrosion or porosity which so commonly completely disfigures many small ancient metal artifacts.

If you request, as illustrated at the top of this page, we have mounted the bell onto a contemporary chain for your wearing enjoyment. The bell is mounted onto the chain using a split ring, so the artifact is not altered in any respect - and can be dismounted without any adverse effect. The chain comes with the pendant at no additional charge, and if you prefer a different length or metal, we can offer chains in various lengths from 16 to 30 inches; and in bronze, gold and silver electroplate, as well as solid 14kt gold and sterling silver. What a fantastically handsome pendant this makes, bound to generate lots of interest and envy! And such ornate bells are very rare, especially in such exceptionally good condition such as this one. Considering that it is almost 2,500 years old, the condition is extraordinary!

If you request (follow the links below), we could mount the ancient bronze bell onto a framed display plaque (see it here), and it would make a great gift. The plaque narrates a brief outline of the history of ancient China along with a couple of images of very beautiful artifacts. It would make a very handsome gift, for yourself or a friend, and would surely delight a son or daughter. It would not only make a very handsome display, but would be very educational as well. If you prefer, the cross-bow point could be installed within a glass-front shadow box with or without printed history (see it here). Whether worn as a pendant or display, this ancient bronze bell is a wonderful relic of one of ancient history's greatest military powers and most advanced ancient civilizations.

HISTORY: Sharing the language and culture of the preceding Shang Dynasty, the Zhou (Chou) Dynasty through conquest and colonization gradually enveloped much of North China. The Zhou dynasty lasted longer than any other, from 1027 to 221 B.C. The early decentralization of the Zhou Dynasty has oftentimes been compared to Europe's medieval feudal system. However social organization in the Zhou Dunasty was more predicated upon family and tribal ties than feudal legal bonds. Philosophers of the period enunciated the doctrine of the "mandate of heaven", the notion that the ruler (the "son of heaven") governed by divine right. In reality the emperor shared power with the local lords. At times the local lords were oftentimes more powerful than the emperor. In the later dynasty, large scale conflicts oftentimes erupted between rival local lords (eventually culminating in the "Warring States" period).

The late Zhou Dynasty's potpourri of city-states became progressively centralized, characterized by greater central control over local governments and systematic agricultural taxation. The iron-tipped, ox-drawn plow, together with improved irrigation techniques, brought higher agricultural yields, which, in turn, supported a steady rise in population. The growth in population was accompanied by the production of much new wealth, and a new class of merchants and traders arose. However in 771 B.C. the Zhou court was sacked, and its king was killed by invading barbarians who were allied with rebel lords. The Zhou retreated eastward relocating their capital city. Today historians divide the Zhou Dynasty into the Western Zhou (1027-771 B.C.) and Eastern Zhou (770-221 B.C.). The west was abandoned, and the power of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty gradually diminished.

The Eastern Dynasty itself is further divided by historians into two periods reflecting the accelerating fragmentation and disintegration of China. The first from 770 to 476 B.C. is called the Spring and Autumn Period. The second is known as the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.), as China completely dissolved. Though marked by disunity and civil strife, these two periods marked an era of cultural advancements known today as the "golden age" of China. Commerce was stimulated by the introduction of coinage. The use of iron not only revolutionized the production of weaponry but also the manufacture of farm implements. An atmosphere of reform was the result of the competition between rival warlords to build strong and loyal armies, requiring increased economic production and a strong tax base.

This created a demand for ever-increasing numbers of skilled, literate officials and teachers (a "civil service"), recruited on merit. Public works such as flood control, irrigation projects, and canal digging were executed on a grand scale. Enormous walls were built around cities and along the broad stretches of the northern frontier. Many of the era's intellectuals were employed as advisers by China's rulers on the methods of government, war, and diplomacy. So many different philosophies developed during these two periods that the era is often referred to as "The Hundred Schools of Thought". The period produced many of the great classical writings on which Chinese practices were to be based for the next two and one-half millennia, including those of Confucius (551-479 B.C.).

HISTORY OF ANCIENT CHINESE CIVILIZATION: Want to know a little more about the history of human civilization in ancient China? Click right here.

A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request. COA's are prepared and mailed from Russia. It takes a few weeks to receive them, and international air mail from Russia costs an additional $2.00. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). We will accept PayPal payments, however please do not use eBay's check-out system. There are too many variables regarding packaging options, shipping options, and other options to possibly include every possible variation in advance for automated checkout. The amounts provided for eBay's check-out system are only estimates based on domestic insured shipments. The actual amount could be more or less depending on your shipping, packaging, and accessorial preferences. So please wait for our email invoice before you attempt to check out so we can properly quote you for accessories such as packaging and shipping options. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."