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Bronzes

Mao-kung Ting
Late Western Chou period (1046-771 BC)
Height: 53.8 cm, depth of belly: 27.2 cm, diameter: 47 cm, weight: 34.7 kg

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This “ting” cauldron has a wide, flared mouth, a linked ring motif decorating the rim, upright handles, and three hoofed feet. The inscription, which can be divided into seven sections, describes how when King Hsüan of the Chou came to the throne, he was anxious to see the country thrive, and charged his uncle, the Duke of Mao, with governing the domestic and external affairs of state, big and small, and to do so conscientiously and selflessly. The inscription goes on to state that the King then presented the Duke with official vestments and gifts, and that this vessel was cast in order to record the honor given to the Duke for his descendants.

Text: Yu Kuo-ching
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