Square 'ding' cauldron with mythical creatures
- Other titles:
- Rectangular cauldron 'fang ding'
- Lower Asian gallery
- Further information
Above the main motif of 'taotie' masks on this ritual object is a register of twelve animals, each with one foot, a hooked beak and upwardly curled tail. This mythical creature is traditionally referred to as a 'Kui dragon', a name adopted by connoisseurs of the Song dynasty (960-1279 AD). Some scholars, have suggested abandoning this usage according to Confucius's description of the Kui as a virtuous and worthy master of music. Dragons were believed to have the ability of assisting shamans to connect heaven and earth during ritual ceremonies in ancient China.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, January 2012
- Place of origin
- China: Shang dynasty circa 1600–1100 BCE
- circa 12th century
- 21.0 x 17.3 x 14.0 cm
- Signature & date
- Not signed. Not dated.
- Bequest of Kenneth Myer 1993
- Accession number