Ritual food vessel (ding)

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1

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At A Glance

  • Period

    ca. 500-450 BCE
  • Geography

    Houma, possibly Shaanxi province, China
  • Material

  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 31.5 x 45 x 38.8 cm (12 3/8 x 17 11/16 x 15 1/4 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Provenance

    Unknown Parke-Bernet Auction, December 1, 1954 [1]
    By 1959
    J. T. Tai & Co., New York, purchased at unknown Parke-Bernet auction, 1954 [2]
    Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), purchased from J. T. Tai & Co., New York [3]
    From 1987
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler [4]
    [1] See object file for copy of J. T. Tai & Co. stock record for stock no. YT-1322, described as a “Bronze Incense Burner with cover, Late Chou.” The object was recorded as having been purchased at a Parke-Bernet auction on 12/1/54. Inventory stamps for the J. T. Tai & Co. include the years 1955, 1956, 1957, and 1958, indicating that the work was in the company’s stock during those years. J. T. Tai (1911-1992) was an incredibly important dealer in Chinese antiquities whose influence shaped American collections of Chinese art throughout the second half of the twentieth century. He began his career in China, and in early 1950 he emigrated to New York City with the help of C. T. Loo (1880-1957). Tai established himself as an independent dealer and opened a gallery on Madison Avenue by the autumn of 1950.
    [2] See note 1. The J. T. Tai & Co. stock record documents the object as having been sold to Dr. A. Sackler on 7/16/59. Additionally, see the object file for copy of J. T. Tai & Co. invoice to Dr. Arthur M. Sackler, dated July 15, 1959. The one-day discrepancy in the July dates may reflect the difference between the date an invoice was written versus the date the sale was completed and recorded.
    [3] See Dawn Ho Delbanco, “Art from Ritual: Ancient Chinese Bronze Vessels from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections” [exhibition catalog] (Cambridge, MA and Washington, D.C.: The Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, and The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, 1983), cat. 57, pp. 138-139. Dr. Arthur M. Sackler was a physician, medical publisher, pharmaceutical marketer, and collector of Asian art. See also note 1.
    [4] Pursuant to the agreement between Arthur M. Sackler and the Smithsonian Institution, dated July 28, 1982, legal title of the donated objects was transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on September 11, 1987.
    Research updated June 22, 2023
  • Collection

    Arthur M. Sackler Collection
  • Exhibition History

    The Arts of China (November 18, 1990 to September 7, 2014)
    In Praise of Ancestors: Ritual Objects from China (September 28, 1987 to January 1, 1989)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    J. T. Tai & Co. (established in 1950)
    Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987)
  • Origin

    Houma, possibly Shaanxi province, China
  • Credit Line

    Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

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