View from the Garage

November 3, 2013

Chinese bronze ritual ewer

Filed under: Uncategorized — thefusionguy @ 7:15 am

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After working at the Southwest Institute of Physics in Chengdu last March, I stopped in Shanghai for a couple days. In a shop I found this beautiful bronze ritual cup. This is evidently a copy of a bronze from China dated to 1200 BCE (http://www.asia.si.edu/explore/china/bronzes/gallery.asp#ritualewer), although I certainly didn’t know that when I bought it. It’s quite heavy.

The purchase illustrated one interesting thing about China: getting a receipt or invoice is a long process. I thought I might have trouble in US customs (I didn’t), so after paying cash I went back to the shop and asked for a receipt. (Well, a lot of sign language was involved in communicating that.) The clerk went into a back room for about 45 minutes and emerged finally with an invoice with lots of red stamps. I’m told that falsification of receipts is a common form of graft, so an elaborate system was set up that takes a long time to complete.

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