Tomb of Marquis Yi
This bell set from the tomb of Marquis Yi is considered one of the finest artifacts from the Warring States Period. The 65 gold-inlaid, bronze bells cover five octaves and range in size from eight inches high (5 lbs) to five feet high (448 lbs). According to an inscription on the central bell, it was a gift from King Hui of Chu and was cast in 433 B.C. Marquis Yi was a relatively minor vassel of Chu. The richness of his burial is evidence of the devolution of wealth and power from rulers downward to upstart subordinates, during a period of weak central authority and unsettled conditions, when every minor fiefdom vied with its neighbors to grab and hold as much power as it could.