Ritual cauldron (ding) with masks (taotie) and cicadas

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 3

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At A Glance

On View
  • Period

    ca. 1100-1050 BCE
  • Geography

    Anyang, probably Henan province, China
  • Material

  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 35.3 × 29.5 × 29.6 cm (13 7/8 × 11 5/8 × 11 5/8 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Ceremonial vessel, type ding. Light grayish green patina with some incrustation. Areas of malachite, azurite, and cuprite inside. Decorated with casting in intaglio and relief. Inscription.
  • Previous custodian or owner

    C.T. Loo & Company (1914-1948)
  • Provenance

    From 1941 to 1946
    C. T. Loo & Company, New York, from April 1941 [1]
    From 1946
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from C. T. Loo & Company on October 31, 1946 [2]
    [1] See C. T. Loo's stockcard no. 87095: "Bronze tripod CHOU / Large vessel Ting with two upright handles and on three straight legs.
    Decorated under the rim by a band of t'ao tieh mask on a spiral ground.
    On the body a band of triangles with cicadas in relief.
    Legs ornated with stylized cicadas.
    Green patina. Inscribed. Shang," C. T. Loo & Frank Caro Archive, Musée Guimet, Paris, copy in object file.
    The object was offered to two American collectors, first to "Mr. Booth" and then to Alfred F. Pillsbury in 1941, but was subsequently returned to Loo.
    In 1943 the vessel was brought to the Freer Gallery and was returned to Loo after two months.
    On January 30, 1945, the vessel was sent again to the Freer Gallery.
    [2] See C. T. Loo's invoice, dated October 31, 1946, copy in object file.
  • Origin

    Anyang, probably Henan province, China
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

  • On View

    Sackler Gallery 23b: Anyang: China's Ancient City of Kings
  • Restrictions and Rights

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