We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Title

Square 'ding' cauldron with mythical creatures

circa 12th century

Artists

Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Other Title
    Rectangular cauldron 'fang ding'
    Place where the work was made
    China
    Period
    Shang dynasty circa 1600 - 1100 BCE → China
    Date
    circa 12th century
    Media category
    Metalwork
    Materials used
    bronze
    Dimensions
    21.0 x 17.3 x 14.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Credit
    Bequest of Kenneth Myer 1993
    Location
    Lower Asian gallery
    Accession number
    573.1993
    Copyright

    Reproduction requests

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  • About

    Above the main motif of 'taotie' masks on this ritual object is a register of twelve animals, each with one foot, a hooked beak and upwardly curled tail. This mythical creature is traditionally referred to as a 'Kui dragon', a name adopted by connoisseurs of the Song dynasty (960-1279 AD). Some scholars, have suggested abandoning this usage according to Confucius's description of the Kui as a virtuous and worthy master of music. Dragons were believed to have the ability of assisting shamans to connect heaven and earth during ritual ceremonies in ancient China.

    Asian Art Department, AGNSW, January 2012

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    China

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications