Food Vessel (Ding) Maker: Unknown

1200–1050 B.C.E.

Asian Art

On view, 2nd floor, Asian Art

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.




6 1/2 × 5 3/4 in. (16.5 × 14.6 cm)

Credit Line

Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Bequest of Mrs. William H. Moore

Accession Number



Shang dynasty (1600–1050 B.C.E), Anyang phase (1300–1050 B.C.E), Yinxu period


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 records is ongoing.



Bequest of Mrs. William H. Moore (1858–1955), New York; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
  • 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.
  • Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 284, 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.
  • George J. Lee, Selected Far Eastern Art in the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1970), 3, no. 2, ill.
  • Eleanor Von Erdberg Consten, "A Terminology of Chinese Bronze Decoration," Monumenta Serica Journal of Oriental Studies 16. no. 1 (1957): 287–314, fig. 5.
  • Phyllis Ackerman, Ritual Bronzes of Ancient China (New York: The Dryden Press, 1945), pl. 58.
  • Bernard Karlgren, "New Studies on Chinese Bronzes," Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities 9 (1937): pl. 29.
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