Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Vessel in the Shape of a Waterfowl

Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279)
12th–13th century
Bronze with gold and silver inlay
H. 5 1/2 (14 cm); W. 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm); L. 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of John L. Cadwalader, 1914
Accession Number:
Not on view
Vessels in the shape of waterfowl are known from before the Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 220). During the eleventh century, this form was revived as part of a widespread interest in antiquarianism and, in particular, in early vessels in bronze and clay. The date of this vessel derives from a comparison to one such illustrated in a twelfth century compendium of antiquities and is reinforced by the fluidity of the inlaid decoration, which becomes more rigid and geometric over time.
John L. Cadwalader (until d. 1914)
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