Archaistic tripod censer (Ding)


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Linked to power and dominion over the land, the ding is one of the most important ritual vessel types. They were used to cook and serve food offerings. Similar to other ritual bronze vessels, ding were originally made as ceramics, then were cast in bronze in the Shang dynasty. In the later periods, ding were produced in ceramics and metalwork not only as ritual vessels but also to serve as incense burners. The seventeenth-century parcel-gilt bronze ding follows archaic models, but its heavily gilded surface and fine patterned ground set it apart from replicas.

Archaistic tripod censer (Ding), Parcel-gilt bronze, China

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