Ding for offering sacrifices

Tags: bronzes | Shang dynasty | Spring and Autumn Period | tripod | Zhou dynasty

The tripod is the most important bronze ritual implement in the Shang and Zhou dynasties. It was used in the higher level ritual ceremonies and banquets, and was a cooking implement. This “Lao tripod” was originally called the Zhou beast pattern tripod and was unearthed from the big tomb of the Zheng Lord in Xinzheng, Henan Province. Judging by the combination of the bronze utensils, it should be one of the nine tripods that symbolize the stature of the owner of the tomb. The size of this Lao tripod is huge, the belly is deep and wide, the handles incline inward, and the belly between the two handles is engraved with decorative rings shaped like an ox's head, and the feet of a beast. The lines of the ears and the belly are different from the simple style that occurred starting from the end of the Western Zhou dynasty to the early period of the Spring and Autumn period. If you look at it carefully, you can see three protruding lines in the middle of the tripod's belly, including beasts, a small dragon, a design of double hoops, Qiequ lines (a kind of geometrical line), triangles, and cicadas, The patterns on this Lao tripod are very dissimilar. This kind of mix and match was a characteristic of bronze in the middle of the Spring and Autumn period.


National Museum of History