Henan Museum
Nipple-nailed square Ding with beast face patterns,cooking vessel
Edit: Gp
Time: 2023-04-14 11:09:00
Period: Early Shang dynasty(1600-1300B.C.)
Provenance: Excavated from a hoard, zhangzhainan road, Zhengzhou city,1974
Measurements: Height86.5cm, Mouth Diameter61cm
Mouth diameter: 67 ×61cm



This vessel's body has been produced in a square shape, and has a broad rim with a fracture on the outside. Atop the vessel are two arched handles; it has a deep body, with straight walls sloping inwards towards a flat base, supported by four hollow pillar legs. The insides of the handles are flat, with three sockets on their exteriors. The four sides and four corners of the vessel are all decorated with animal-mask patterns. The sides and bases of all four walls of the body are decorated with nipple patterns, and the legs bear animal-mask and bowstring patterns. The expert moulding, skilled manufacture, and simple archaic decoration of this ding vessel are rarely seen in Shang dynasty objects. As such, this piece is of great significance for research into the politics, economics, and especially the casting techniques of the Shang period.

It was produced using the piece-mould technique, illustrating that this advanced casting technique had already been mastered by this period. As it was excavated from among the remains of the Shang city at Zhengzhou, it provides us with material evidence that furthers our understanding of the nature of this Shang settlement.