Buddhist Temple Bell

  • Korea
  • Korea, Koryo dynasty
  • 14c
  • Bronze
  • H-43.5 D-30
Catalogue Entry

This bell has a cylindrical projection, called yoo peculiar to Korea, at the top. The top of the bell, by the cylinder, is adorned with a dragon, which is designed to serve as a loop for hanging the bell. The dragon holds a sacred gem with the claws of its left front leg and has flaming wings around its shoulders. The projected shoulder that marks the top plane of the bell is executed with a flower petal motif and, as for the body of the bell itself, the upper border, the nipple-like projections, and the lower border are decorated with lotus scrolls. Around the upper part of the bell in each of three areas, nine nipple-like projections are placed. Under these areas toward the middle and bottom of the bell, three hitting spots shaped like lotus flowers alternate with three celestials on clouds.

Since this bell had been buried in the ground for a long time, the surface might be characterized as being a bit dull. There is also evidence of repair on the surface. In terms of stylistic characteristics, this bell has some similarities with Bell no. 739 of the Seoul National Museum, which was formerly owned by the Toksugung Museum, and with a bell in Chosen'in Temple in Kyoto. It can be dated in the 14th century, the late Koryo period.