China, Zhou Dynasty, Yü Pi


China, Zhou Dynasty, Yü Pi (obverse) China, Zhou Dynasty, Yü Pi (reverse)

Towards the end of the 2nd millennium BC bronze began to be used in China; and soon there was a growing demand for it. The Chinese bronze was traded in popular and therefore widely accepted forms. There existed bronze knives, spades, bells and fishes – all of them highly valued objects in Chinese society. Particularly fish were regarded as lucky charms. Before the invention of bronze, jade fish were used as burial objects or immolated in temples. Today, fish still are considered as talismans in China. They represent fertility, prosperity and abundance – and it might very well be that these associations date back into the 2nd millennium BC.


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