Elephant statue in the style of other statues from the Shang dynasty. Looks like a copy of the elephant shaped wine server at the Smithsonian's national museum of asian art. The markings are nearly identical. https://asia.si.edu/learn/for-educators/teaching-china-with-the-smithsonian/explore-by-object/elephant-shaped-wine-server/
Top of baby elephant to feet approx 7.5" Tip of back tail to trunk approx 10.75" Width between two front feet approx 4"
Purchased in NC at an antique/thrift store.
This is an Shang Zhou dynasty Bronze Ware Elephant statue, zun vessel in the shape of an elephant. The ZUN is a vessel type which has the shape of a large, wide cup with a bulbous center part and a wide mouth and foot. The ZUN is reminiscent in its shape to a wide and smaller KU and vessels in the form of various animals are also known as ZUN.
The elephant is found throughout in Asian and is already mentioned in the 3rd century in Chinese literature. In the Ming dynasty elephants were part of important imperial celebrations. The elephant is often the mount of a hero and a symbol of prudence, wisdom and strength. Riding an elephant means happiness, which is often represented by a child on the back of the elephant. The depiction of an elephant with a vase on the back is a symbol of peace and serenity.
It is in good condition, and was created by skilled craftsmen in traditional style with fine handcrafts.