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Image of Three-legged Cauldron

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Three-legged Cauldron

Creation date: 5th century BCE
Creation place: China

Other Information

Type: Bronze Ting
Medium and Support: Bronze
Credit Line: Bequest of Mrs. Cora Timken Burnett
Accession Number: 1957.478
Dimensions: 9 1/2 in. x 10 in. x 9 3/16 in. (24.13 cm x 25.4 cm x 23.34 cm)
Currently on view

Label Copy

November 2004
Past In Reverse: Contemporary Art from East Asia [Historical section]
This ritual bronze vessel is an example from China's antiquity, and it is a type that is frequently referenced by later artists, including contemporary artist Hung Yi. In form it is a bowl standing on three legs, and it was used to cook and then offer the meat of sacrificial animals to the spirits of deceased ancestors. It was thought that when the ancestor spirits were sated with food and drink, then they would not haunt their descendants and instead would aid them in achieving prosperity. Such ritual bronze vessels were subtly ornamented with areas of abstract motifs and the faces of a mythical creature known as tao tie.
Last Updated: 4/17/2012


This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Art of East Asia San Diego Museum of Art , 2/3/2013 - 8/1/2013


This object has the following bibliographic references:

Ms. Yu Sung. Selections from the Chinese Collection San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1999
Page Number: 83, Figure Number: 83

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