Abstract:

From their first appearance in the later period of the Erlitou culture (3500–1250 BCE) until their disappearance during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 9 CE) China’s bronze ritual vessels had a flourishing history of over one thousand five hundred years. One thousand years after their disappearance bronze ritual vessels experienced a renaissance under the Northern Song Dynasty (960–1126) and continued to do so for almost another millennia. This talk will give a brief introduction to the background, unfolding and influence of the bronze ritual vessel renaissance of the Northern Song.

The continual unearthing of bronze vessels and the recording of this by a few scholars fervently committed to the study of ancient utensils fostered the emergence of epigraphy as a field of study. The ritual reforms initiated by several Song emperors and in particular Emperor Huizong (1082–1135) demanded that ritual vessels should comply with forms from the ancient Three Dynasties Period. This not only led to the casting of new ritual vessels according to unearthed ancient vessels but also to a search for ancient vessels throughout the entire realm. As a consequence the imperial court assembled a large collection of vessels and officially and privately compiled catalogues continuously appeared, thus setting the basic framework for the naming, categorizing and dating of bronze vessels, and the transcription of their inscriptions. As for the newly-cast ritual vessels, although it is difficult to identify specific models, it is possible to trace their various sources, reflecting the artistic ideas of a return to the past embodied in Song bronze vessels. People of Song times of course did not know how the vessels were made in antiquity. They could only use the lost wax method to cast new vessels, and their technique naturally shows traits peculiar to the Song period.

Lastly, four bronze dou vases from the palace workshops dating from the late Northern Song to the early Southern Song period whose forms are very similar and who all carry inscriptions show the fixed nature of the Song style. Among these vases is one used by the Huizong Emperor himself, and others were imperial gifts to great officials – showing another use of bronze vessels under the Song. By looking at Southern Song knowledge of these vessels we can see that, although the contribution of the study of vases to Song epigraphy was not insignificant, it had not yet established a fixed body of knowledge or paradigm and it was difficult for it to be passed on or to develop. It was only in the twentieth century that archaeology and art history allowed for a breakthrough and the establishment of a paradigm for the study of bronze ritual vessels.

摘要:

青铜器礼器自二里头文化晚期登上中国历史舞台至西汉衰落,有一千五百多年的繁荣历史,经千余年的沉寂后,在北宋得以复兴后,又延续了近千年。此讲是对宋代青铜礼器复兴背景、过程和影响的粗浅讨论,而这些礼器几乎全是复古器。

宋代不断出土的青铜器和几位热衷古器的学者对它们的著录,催生了金石学的形成。几位皇帝特别是徽宗的礼制改革,要求礼器合于三代而非礼图,既导夫按照三代礼器铸造新礼器,而皇帝对三代礼器的重视,又导致了全国范围对它们的搜求,内府收藏十分宏富,官、私编撰的图录不断涌现,奠定了青铜器的定名、分类、释铭、断代的基本框架。对于新铸礼器,虽然难以确定具体的模本,但可稽考其多个来源,反映了宋代青铜器的复古艺术观念。当然,宋人不知三代器如何制作,只能以现行失蜡法铸造,技术上自然具有宋代特点。

本讲还特别讨论四件北宋晚期到南宋早期的宫廷铸造的青铜豆,形近,均有铭文,反映出其风格的稳定性。其中既有徽宗自用器,也有皇帝赐予权臣之器,体现出宋代青铜器的另一功能。透过南宋对它们的认识,可窥见宋代金石学所包含的器物学虽成就非凡,但并未形成确定的知识和范式,难以承传和发展,直到二十世纪考古学和艺术史知识传来,才在范式上有所突破。


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