Tonying and Company, New York, to 1930 
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Tonying and Company, New York, in 1930 
 Object file, undated folder sheet note. See also Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file, Collections Management Office.
 See note 1.
- Previous Owner(s)
Tonying and Company
Despite the beauty of its decoration, with elaborate taotie patterns and animal motifs rendered in different levels of relief, this vessel is most famous for its lengthy cast inscription of 187 characters. The text, one of the longest from the early Zhou period, is repeated inside the vessel and the lid. A court scribe named Ling might have composed the text himself; the cast inscription resembles the rhythm and flow of calligraphy. If so, he could have been following a family tradition: he was a younger relative of Da, who was responsible for the fangding (F1950.7) in the Freer collection.
The vessel commemorates three days of administrative meetings and ritual ceremonies held in Chengzhou during the reign of Zhao, the fourth Zhou monarch. Mingbao, the son of the Duke of Zhou and a nephew of the Taibao, led the events, which began with a massive gathering of court and regional officials and concluded with offerings of animal sacrifices. Afterwards, in appreciation of their efforts, Mingbao awarded ritual wine, “metal” (probably bronze), and oxen to Ling and his colleague Captain Kang, with the order that the gifts be used for ritual purposes.
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
- Rights Statement
Copyright with museum