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Big Zhuke Ding Tripod of Chu: Mightiest since Zhou Dynasty

Jun 12, 2010

Name: Big ZhuKe Ding Tripod of Chu | 中文名: 楚大铸客鼎
Dated to: ~770 – 221 B.C. | Culture: State of Chu, Warring States Period
Unearthed: ~1933 A.D. @ Shou, Anhui | Current location: Anhui Museum
Dimension: height 113cm, feet 67cm, ear 36.5cm, mouth diameter 87cm, depth 52cm, girth 290cm | Weight: 400kg

This is a bronzeware cooking vessel made by State of Chu, in Warring States Period. It was unearthed at Tomb of King of Chu in Zhujiaji, Shou, Anhui Province.

Shou, aka Shouchun in ancient times, served as the last capital city of State of Chu for 19 years. There are rich relics buried in this region. This tripod is one of the most precious ones.

Zhuke Ding is the top second national treasure bronze ding unearthed in China so far. Its size and weight are only after Simuwu Tetrapod. It has a round mouth, square lip, drum like belly, round bottom, and three hoof feet. One ear is on each side of neck, leaning outwards. There are delicate patterns decorating the outside, the ear, the neck and the feet.

There are 12 inscribed words at the edge of its mouth, beginning with “Zhu Ke (铸客)”, after which it is now named. On its front feet and bottom were inscribed two blessing words “An Bang (安邦,peaceful state)”.

The largest and heaviest since Zhou dynasty

Since this is the most majestic one among thousands of Chu relics, it is titled “big” as the treasure of King of Chu. It is the largest and heaviest extant ding since Zhou dynasty.

Ding is ancient cooking vessel for cooking meat, equivalent to pot/wok nowadays. In the slave society of Shang and Zhou, bronzeware dings were used by slave owners to “distinguish hierarchy, clarify nobility”, as a symbol of ruling power, then became a ceremonial device for monarchs and nobles. The discovery of Zhuke Ding provides a valuable material for studying Chu culture, and has a very high historical, artistic and academic value.

Chairman Mao’s visit

Chairman Mao and Zhuke DingSeptember 17, 1958, Chairman Mao Zedong visited Anhui Museum, he came to Zhuke Ding, walked around the tripod, and examined carefully the pattern on the ears, the inscription on the rim and the relief decoration on its feet. He asked the origins of this large tripod, he even bowed to look into the “pot”, humorously said: “A cow can be boiled inside!”

[Forbidden Treasure of China Series]
This is the 19st of 64 culture heritages that the government of China forbids to exhibit abroad. The complete list is here. In Chinese.

[Chinese Keywords]
国家一级文物 禁止出境

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