A ritual object for use in royal and religious cermonies, this bronze is cast by the lost wax process in the shape of a conch, with an intricately decorated surface. The tripod stand, which may not be of the same date, is has three coiling serpentine legs that end in stylized naga (serpent) heads with cobra-like fans.
A buff sandstone sculpture of a lion, sitting erect with its front legs extended, all on a stone platform. The legs have been fully released from the stone, while surface details such as the curly mane and the tail are carved in low relief. In keeping with its role as a guardian figure, the lion has buldging eyes and its lips are drawn back to reveal sharp teeth.
A stylized lion, of the type that originally stood at the base of stairways to temple buildings of the Khmer empire in Cambodia of the 9th through 13th centuries.
square ding (ting) tripod with four legs, the body as well as the upper portion of the four legs is decorated with "t'ao-t'ieh" zoomorphic design. One of the leg was recast after the rest of the body has been completed, thus had a less refined craftmanship and joint line at its base. The double loop handles are also decorated with zoomorphic design. A group of three inscription is cast on the upper portion of the interior wall, which reads as Fu (father) Ji (day name), followed by an symbolic representation of a chariot, possibly a clan emblem. The interior is plain, the animal bone remains attached to the bottom and variations in patina patterns with a line running through the middle indicates that the vessel was once filled with cooked meat offerings, presumably in a Shang elite burial in late second millennium B.C.E.
known as the ding tripod for cooking and presentation of food, usually animal meat, in ancestral rituals of early China. The narrow upper register of the body of the vessel is decorated with Kui dragons, face-to-face around the top. The dragons have open mouths, long thin bodies that end in curled tails. The body of the vessel is decorated with tao-tie masks with staring eyes and above which are broad, curving horns. The nose is formed by the raised flanges that divide each mask in half. At the bottom is the open, hook-like jaws. The upper sections of the legs and the two loop handles are also decorated with zoomorphic designs of masks and dragons.
This bowl has a very thin body, which flares widely from a small, shallow ring foot, silver mount on unglazed rim. The interior of the bowl is decorated with an incised design of a pomegranate plant. A creamy white glaze of ivory tone is distinctive of Ding ware.
Ding ware was produced in northern China especially for nobility. Because it has a very thin body and the design preference was for a small foot, this bowl and others like it had to be fired upside down in the kiln. Potters left the rim of the bowl unglazed, so that the bowl did not stick to the supporting surface during firing. The interior of the bowl is decorated with an incised design of a pomegranate plant, a symbol of fertility and plenty.
Maribeth Graybill, Senior Curator of Asian Art
Exhibited in "Flora and Fauna in Chinese Art," April 6, 2002 - December 1, 2002.
The Song dynasty (960–1279) in China was a period when the arts of painting, calligraphy, and ceramics reached extraordinary levels of refinement. One of the most celebrated ceramics of the day, produced under the direct supervision of the imperial court, was Ding ware. A creamy white stoneware made at the Ding kiln in northern China, Ding ware was known for its thin walls and elegantly drawn incised designs, such as this bowl with floral design.