2000 - 999 B.C.
Shang Dynasty (c. 1600-1050 BC)
The Museum Proper
Replica or Original:
On Display, In Storage, or in a Private Offsite Collection:
7" x 6" x 4"
A bronze ding from the Shang Dynasty.
Inscriptions, and/or Markings:
A Ding (鼎, Chinese for “Tripod”) is an ancient Chinese cauldron or holding vessel. Historically, these vessels have been used for holding food and wine, or for ritual sacrifices to ancestors or deities. Around 1000 B.C, dings held the ability to perform ritual ceremonies and ultimately became a symbol of power and authority. The ding represented inherent hierarchies, as they were mostly used by nobels and emporers. Bronze ware was often looted in victories over other nations, therefore symbolized sucessful conquests and strength. The possession of one or more ding is connected to power and dominion over the land.
Two variations of the ding exist, including the li-ding and the fang-ding. The li-ding bowl swells slightly where the legs meet the vessel akin to chinese li ritual bronze. The fang-ding, paradoxically called “Square Tripod”, is a square or rectangular shaped vessel resting on four legs. The legs of the ding are minimally decorated, whilst the bodies are often adorned with Taotie, Monster Masks, which utilizes the shape and surface of the bowl.
Ding. (n.d.). https://www.britannica.com/art/ding
Houmuwu Ding - Chinese Ritual Bronze. (2020, August 20). https://joyofmuseums.com/museums/asia-museums/china-museums/beijing-museums/the-national-museum-of-china/houmuwu-ding/
Song, Li. Chinese Bronze Ware: A Mirror of Culture. Beijing. China Intercontinental Press. 2009.
2000 - 999 B.C.