Service with Decoration of Flowers and Birds

Period: Southern Song (1127–1278)–Yuan (1271–1368) dynasty

Date: late 13th–early 14th century

Culture: China

Medium: Silver with gilding

Dimensions: Diam. from 4 3/8 in. (11.1 cm) to 7 1/2 in. (19 cm)

Classification: Metalwork

Credit Line: Purchase, The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift, 1997

Accession Number: 1997.33.1–.6


The forms and decor of this tableware are purely Chinese—as opposed to silver pieces of the Tang dynasty (618–907), when metalwork in China was strongly influenced by foreign styles. The same forms occur in Song and Yuan lacquer and porcelain, while the bird-and-flower motifs reflect the influence of Song painting.