Bronze model house with musicians and performers

Spring and Autumn period (770–476 bc)

Height overall 17 cm, Width 13 cm, Depth 11.5 cm

One of the museum’s Top Ten Treasures This model house, which has an oblong plan, is three bays wide and three bays deep. In the front are two round columns instead of a wall and a door; on both sides are openwork walls divided into oblong sections, and there is a window at the centre of the back wall. Standing at the centre of the pyramidal roof is an octagonal column topped by a dove with a large tail. The column is hollow but is sealed off from the top of the roof. Inside the house are six kneeling figures. Four are musicians, between them playing

the drum, the sheng and the guqin, and the other two cross their hands over their lower abdomen. The roof, the northern wall and the base around the house are adorned with interlocking designs. The model may represent a temple used by Yue people for sacrifice, for it has distinct features of Yue culture in terms of its shape and decoration and the figures' hairstyle. Model houses like this are rare among pre-Qin bronzes. (Zeng Zhaoming)