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Lidded food cauldron (ding) with painted decoration

Detail of a pattern
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Terms of Use

Creative Commons

At A Glance

On View
  • Period

    206 BCE-220 CE
  • Geography

  • Material

  • Dimension

    H x W: 13.5 x 16.9 cm (5 5/16 x 6 5/8 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Ting [Ch] with a deep cauldron covered by a domed lid surmounted by three bird-like forms. The three legs on the body of the vessel are modelled in the form of bears. The two handles are shaped as rectangular loops bent outward. An abstract, swirling pattern is painted on the cover and on the upper section of the body of the vessel above the narrow flange which divides the body of the vessel horizontally.
  • Provenance

    To 1916
    C. T. Loo, Lai-Yuan & Co., New York, to April 1, 1916 [1]
    From 1916 to 1968
    Eugene Meyer (1875-1959) and Agnes E. Meyer (1887-1970), Washington, DC, and Mt. Kisco, NY, purchased from C. T. Loo, Lai-Yuan & Co. on April 1, 1916 [2]
    From 1968
    Freer Gallery of Art, given by Agnes E. Meyer in 1968 [3]
    [1] See C. T. Loo, Lai-Yuan & Co.’s invoice issued to Mrs. Eugene Meyer and dated February 29, 1916, where the bronze is listed as “Tripot incense burner with cover, painted floral design,” copy in object file.
    A stamped note on the invoice states that the payment for the bronze was received by Loo on April 1, 1916.
    The invoice includes three other bronzes (see records for F1968. 32a-b, F1968.33, and F1968.35a-b) which with F1968.34a-b form a group probably made as a set to be used as mingqi (funerary objects).
    The four vessels reportedly came from Changsha, Hunan province, however, there is no certainty of their provenance, see Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Memorial Exhibition exh. cat. (Washington, DC: Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1971), pp. 28-29 (ill.) and Diane M. Nelson, “Bronze ‘Ming-ch’i’ Vessels with Painted Decoration: A Regional Study in Han Pictorialism,” Artibus Asiae 42, 2/3 (1980), pp. 147-8.
    [2] See C. T. Loo, Lai-Yuan & Co.’s invoice, cited in note 1.
    [3] See Agnes E. Meyer’s Deed of Gift, where the object is listed as no. 20 in the document’s Annex, dated July 24, 1967, copy in object file. The object was accessioned to the Freer Gallery’s collection in 1968.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Art and Industry: China’s Houma Foundry (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
    Studies in Connoisseurship 1923-1983 (September 23, 1983 to March 1, 1984)
    Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Memorial Exhibition (September 25, 1971 to October 2, 1972)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    C.T. Loo & Company (1914-1948)
    Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer ((1875-1959) and (1887-1970))
    Agnes E. Meyer (1887-1970)
  • Origin

  • Credit Line

    Gift of Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer
  • Type

  • On View

    Freer Gallery 18: Art and Industry: China's Ancient Houma Foundry
  • Restrictions and Rights

    CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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