If you have had a Xian tour and visited Shaanxi Historical Museum, you can find many ancient Chinese articles which help you learn more history of North China. But in Shanghai Museum, you can learn some history of ancient south China. The following will list you top treasures in Shanghai Museum.
1 Chun Hua Ge Tie
Chun Hua Ge Tie is the oldest imperial anthology of calligraphy rubbings made in 992 during the Emperor Tai Zong's reign of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). In ancient China, before the existence of modern printing technology, the technique of taking rubbings from stone and metal inscriptions was invented and used for the appreciation and practice of calligraphy. This kind of rubbing albums was called as "Fatie", or simply "Tie". Chun Hua Ge Tie, which contains works of Wang Xizhi, Wang Xianzhi, and other famous calligraphers, is a representative work of them and has great influence on later generations.
2. Ku Sun Tie
Ku Sun Tie is one of the few extant authentic works written by Huai Su, a famous cursive calligrapher in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The piece, talking about bamboo shoots and tea, has only fourteen characters. But the writer's wonderful calligraphic skill and inner spirit can be shown vividly on the paper through the smooth and vigorous strokes.
3. Ya Tou Wan Tie
Ya Tou Wan Tie is one of the representative works of Wang Xianzhi, an outstanding calligrapher in Eastern Jin Dynasty (316-420). Wang Xianzhi, the seventh son of Wang Xizhi, was well versed in calligraphy like his father. This piece is a short letter to his friend with only fifteen characters. Although the piece is a Tang Dynasty-era facsimile, the work still shows smooth strokes, gracious and delicate style of the original writer.
4. Zi Zhong Jiang Pan
This Pan, made during China's Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C.), is a broad and shallow bronze vessel used to wash the face and hands. On the outside wall of the Pan, two dragons with curved horns scramble over the mouth rim, stretching their heads downward, seemingly for a better look at the inside scene. Inside the Pan, fish, frogs and tortoises are carved in low relief. What interesting is that each animal circles around 360-degree axis fixed to the bottom. All the animals seem to come to life when the vessel is filled with water. There is also an inscription of 32 characters in 6 lines on the Pan, telling that the vessel was made by an official for his wife Zhong Jiang.
As a popular China tour destination, Shanghai should not be missed and Shanghai Museum is a must-see attraction.
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