An archaic bronze ritual food vessel (Ding). The cover finely cast in low relief with three bands of continuous highly stylised dragon scroll, the innermost centered around three serpentine figures in confrontational pose, the dragon scroll repeated on the upper body above a pronounced flange and a shallow section of dragon scroll, the lower body cast with twelve cicada blades enclosing stylised interlocking dragons.
A similar ding of the early Warring States period, excavated at Jiagezhuang, Tangshan, Hebei province and now in the Museum of Chinese History, Beijing, is published in Zhongguo qingtongqi quanji, vol. 9, Beijing, 1997, pl. 94; another is published in Jenny So, Eastern Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, New York, 1995, pl.15, together with a related piece from the collection of Chester Dale and Dolly Carter, Princeton University Art Museum, p.134, fig. 13.3, and a Ding in The Art Institute of Chicago is published in Charles Fabens Kelley and Chen Meng-chia, Chinese Bronzes from the Buckingham Collection, Chicago, 1946, pl. LIV.
* Formerly on loan to the Neiraku museum, Nara Japan