The decor of bodied t'ao-t'ieh and beaked dragons is in rounded relief on a ground of squared spirals. Eight flanges divide the vessl into eight panels. T'ao-t'ieh masks and a flange appear at the tops ofthe four cylindrical legs. The upright handles are decorated with spirals on the outer surface. Patina pale green, red patches.

Ding food vessel, 12th-11th century BCE

Unknown artist, expand_more

Bronzeexpand_more

Bequest of Alfred F. Pillsburyexpand_more  50.46.2

G214expand_more

The ding food cauldron was the most prominent type of ritual vessel in China’s Bronze Age. It was among the first cast vessels, and the earliest example was unearthed from the Erlitou culture (c. 2000–1600 BCE) site. Ding were used to cook meat during a ceremony devoted to ancestral spirits. The vertical handles allowed the vessel to be placed over a fire. There were many variations of the ding. This example with squared body is known as fang-ding, or squared ding. The dominant taotie animal-mask motif appears on each face of the vessel, divided by flanges on four corners.

Details
Title
Ding food vessel
Role
Artist
Accession Number
50.46.2
Curator Approved

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The decor of bodied t'ao-t'ieh and beaked dragons is in rounded relief on a ground of squared spirals. Eight flanges divide the vessl into eight panels. T'ao-t'ieh masks and a flange appear at the tops ofthe four cylindrical legs. The upright handles are decorated with spirals on the outer surface. Patina pale green, red patches.