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A Chinese bronze fang ding or sacrificial vessel, rectangular in shape and upon four cylindrical legs. A loop handle to each end and flanges to each corner and side, the ding is cast in relief on all four sides with a ‘taotie' mask, with a background of ‘leiwen’, the thunder motif depicted by juxtaposed square spirals. Above each taotie mask there are depicted ‘kui’, a Chinese dragon symbol of good fortune and royalty. A collar to the upper section of each leg decorated with kui and leiwen and with a flange to the outside edge. The fang ding is a sacrificial vessel that is the most highly regarded of all Chinese bronzes.
Chinese, circa 17th -18th century.