SPECIAL ADVISORY: The Yale University Art Gallery is open to the public with expanded hours on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and offers access to Yale ID holders on weekdays. Learn More

Asian Art

Food Vessel (Ding)

1200–1050 B.C.E.


6 1/2 × 5 3/4 in. (16.5 × 14.6 cm)
Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Bequest of Mrs. William H. Moore
Early Chinese bronze vessels were cast using a distinctive piece-mold technology, in which several ceramic pieces were carved individually and assembled around a clay core. The space between the inner core and the molds was then filled with molten bronze, and after the bronze dried, the ceramic core and molds were removed. The dense decoration and interlocking designs on this example were carved into the clay molds in reverse, so that they would read properly on the completed vessel.
On view
Shang dynasty (1600–1050 B.C.E), Anyang phase (1300–1050 B.C.E),
Containers - Metals

Bequest of Mrs. William H. Moore (1858–1955), New York; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


Bernard Karlgren, “New Studies on Chinese Bronzes,” Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities 9 (1937): pl. 29.

Phyllis Ackerman, Ritual Bronzes of Ancient China (New York: The Dryden Press, 1945), pl. 58.

Eleanor Von Erdberg Consten, “A Terminology of Chinese Bronze Decoration,” Monumenta Serica Journal of Oriental Studies 16. no. 1 (1957): 287–314, fig. 5.

George J. Lee, Selected Far Eastern Art in the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1970), 3, no. 2, ill.

Mimi Gardner Gates, The Communion of Scholars: Chinese Art at Yale, exh. cat. (New York: China House Gallery, 1982), 23–24, no. 2, ill.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 284, ill.

David Ake Sensabaugh, The Scholar as Collector: Chinese Art at Yale, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2004), 10, 42, no. 2.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.