Big Meng Ding Tripod: Best of Ancient Chinese Calligraphy
Name: Big Meng Ding Tripod | 中文名: 大孟鼎
Dated to: ~1020-996 B.C. | Culture: West Zhou Dynasty
Unearthed: ~1820-1850A.D. @ Mei, Shaanxi | Current location: National Museum of China
Dimension: diameter 78.3cm, height 100.8cm| Weight: 153.3kg
One of the best bronze wares from Zhou dynasty
This bronze ware was cast at the time of King Kang of Zhou. It’s one of the largest bronze wares from Zhou Dynasty. Its sturdy style, artful design, graceful finish, all makes it a precious heritage.
Art of its inscriptions: beautiful calligraphy
Inside the vessel, there are 19 rows, 291 characters of inscriptions. It is the best inscription calligraphy from that time.
As shown in the image, the inscription has a formal styling. Its font shape and layout are clear and simple. The curves and turns of the strokes are also very confluent and nice. Overall, it has a great presentation of dignified artistic effect.
Content of its inscriptions: the King’s warning against alcohol
On the other hand, the content of its inscriptions is also of great historical value.
This bronze ware belongs to a nobleman called “Meng”. In its inscriptions, King Kang told Meng how King’s father and grandfather (past Kings) managed to govern the country so well. Unlike the king of corrupted Shang Dynasty, who was addicted to alcohol and lost his crown, the Kings of Zhou Dynasty restricted themselves on alcohol. So Zhou Dynasty could have thrived under their government.
Based on these lessons, King Kang asked Meng to learn from his ancestors and help him manage the country faithfully. And King Kang also rewarded Meng lots of cloth, horses, carts, and slaves.
Its inscriptions are very important historical documentary materials for studying the social structure of Zhou Dynasty, which has been valued by historians.
Btw: With a honest and integrated king like this, no wonder the time of King Kang is one of the most prosperous and productive periods in Chinese history.
[Forbidden Treasure of China Series]
This is the 6th of 64 culture heritages that the government of China forbids to exhibit abroad. The complete list is here. In Chinese.