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Rectangular Cauldron

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze.


Shang dynasty ( about 1600–1046 BC ), 12th/11th century



About this artwork

Unlike most bronze vessels whose shapes were derived from prehistoric ceramic forms, this type of rectangular container was invented by Shang bronze artisans. Each side features a pair of profile birds with long, trailing tailfeathers. The black material in sunken areas of this design contains carbon. This filler is common to many Shang bronzes and seems to have been deliberately applied after casting in order to emphasize the surface decoration.


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Arts of Asia


Rectangular Cauldron


China (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1600 BCE–1050 BCE




17 × 14.2 cm (6 5/8 × 5 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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