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Matteson, Mary Ann (1972) The bird theme on bronzes of the Western Chou period. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The subject of this study is an examination of bird motifs on bronze vessels of the Western Chou period. The study proceeded in and is presented in four general stages. The first is a categorization of bird motifs into a number of "types" and a description of major variants within each types based on an investigation of numerous vessels through reproductions in both Western and East Asian sources and at first hand when this was possible. The second stage is a discussion of the schemes of design which incorporate the use of bird motifs. Representative vessels are discussed emphasizing the types of birds used, the zones of the vessel they occupy, the kinds of motifs they combine with, the stylistic tendencies apparent in in the shapes and surface treatment of the vessels they decorate, the dating of the vessels based on style and on inscription when possible, and provenance based on excavated material. In the third stage the duration of each scheme of design and each bird type is derived. The final stage is an attempt to place the tendency towards the use of bird decor in some historical perspective, and the discussion addresses itself to such problems as the question of a pre-dynastic Chou tradition in bronze art, the reasons for the preference for bird decor in the Western Chou, and the reasons for the eventual dissolution of motifs into abstract patterns in the last century of the Western Chou.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:02

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