China, early Western Zhou dynasty, ca. 1045 BCE
Gift of Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer
Richly decorated containers were used in ritual banquets to honor ancestors. This gui, cast with an inscription acknowledging the Taibao's role in suppressing a rebellion that threatened the very existence of the royal house, would have been a family treasure for generations.
Based on events chronicled in the inscription inside the container, this is one of the earliest dateable bronzes from the Zhou dynasty. The translated inscription reads:
The king attacked Luzi Sheng and suppressed his rebellion. The king sent down the campaign command to the Taibao who was respectful and free of error. The king immortalized the Taibao, granting him lands at Song. [The Taibao] uses this vessel to respond to the command.