The Shanghai Museum has a special exhibition gallery for showcasing ancient Chinese bronze. It displays more than 400 exquisite bronze pieces ranging from the Xia Dynasty (c.21st century-16st century BC) to the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), in an area of 1,200 square meters. The permanent exhibition reviews the evolution of ancient Chinese bronze art from the 21st-century BC to the 3rd-century BC throughout its seven sections.
The Ancient Chinese Bronze Gallery exhibits the best-known and most precious bronze ware (a cooking vessel) of the Shanghai Museum: The Great Ding of Ke. Unearthed in a hoard from the Famen Temple in Fufeng county, Shaanxi province, the tripod from the Western Zhou Dynasty (c.11th century-771 BC) is decorated with the motifs of animal face masks (known as Taotie) under it mouth rim and on its legs. The inscription of 290 words cast in the interior records the information of its owner and the reason for casting the vessel.
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