Tripod Cauldron (Ding)

1200–1100 BCE
(c. 1600–c. 1046 BCE)
Overall: 14.3 x 12.5 cm (5 5/8 x 4 15/16 in.)
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

The vessel shows a band of silkworms and cicadas in two registers.


In ancient China, bronze tripods of the ding-type were made in sets of different sizes to be used in rituals in which grain and meat was offered to the spirits of the ancestors. These bronzes were subsequently both collected items and major scholarly preoccupations in Chinese history. They were prized art treasures that provide source materials for Chinese historiography and antiquity studies. Catalogues of archaic bronzes have been published since the Song dynasty. Scholars studied the bronze inscriptions, typologies, and terminologies, and these studies exerted an impact in the field well before the birth of modern art history and archaeology.
Tripod Cauldron (Ding)

Tripod Cauldron (Ding)

1200–1100 BCE

China, Shang dynasty (c. 1600–c. 1046 BCE)

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