Jian stands for “holding up” in traditional Chinese. Jian drum is a combination of a drum and a pillar that goes through the drum and fixes it to the drum base. This drum base used to support a pillar and a drum.

Despite the complex appearance, the base is actually symmetrical. In the center of the base is a cylindrical slot for the drum pillar. Around the slot intertwined 16 dragons, each inlaid with calaite. On these dragons there are countless smaller dragons twining together. On the edge of the base there are four bronze rings used as handle when moving the drum base. Looking from distance, the base resembles a fire; looked closer, the dragons seem to have been awakened by the drumming.


  • Title: Bronze Jian Gu Base
  • Location: Unearthed from Leigudun Tomb (No.1 ), Suizhou, Hubei
  • Medium: Bronze
  • Excavation Date: 1978
  • Dynasty: Around 433 B.C. (the East Zhou Dynasty and the early Warring States Period)
  • Dimensions: Height: 54 cm; bottom diameter: 80 cm; weight: 192.1 kg.

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