This 'jian' was used to contain water during ablutions and for taking baths, depending on its size. During banquets, it was also used to contain ice. Before mirrors were invented and became popular in the Warring States period (481-256 BCE), the jian functioned as a reflector when filled with water. Its shape can be traced to a Neolithic ceramic prototype while those made of bronze such as this, only appeared in the eighth century BCE.

Indigenous Name
Jian
Date/Period
Spring and Autumn period, 770-476 BCE
Region
China
Dimension
Object size: H 24.3 x Dia: 56.1 cm
Accession No.
1996-00469
Material
Bronze
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Category
Bronze