Shanghai Museum – What is a Bronze Ding ? – China


Shanghai Museum – Bronze Ding

Our tour group spent a couple of hours at the Shanghai Museum and explored the three floors. The Shanghai Museum building is very striking, built in the shape of an ancient Chinese bronze ding. What is a bronze ding? A bronze ding,is an ancient Chinese Cauldron traditionally made in two shapes, either round vessels with three legs or rectangular vessels with four legs, with or without a lid. The ding used for cooking, storage and ritual offerings. Under the Zhou Kings the ritual use of the ding became a symbol of authority.

Liu Ding, Late Shang Dynasty,by Mountain at Shanghai Museum

Liu Ding, Late Shang Dynasty,by Mountain at Shanghai Museum


Ancient Bronze Ding - Shanghai-Museum
Ancient Bronze Ding – Shanghai-Museum

Chinese Bronze

First Floor of the Shanghai Museum has Ancient Chinese bronze, Sculpture, and a multimedia studio. The ancient bronze pieces are pretty spectacular, displayed to effect in ancient wooden showcases with special illumination focused on each bronze. Most of the Ding and ancient bronze pieces are beautifully decorated (similar to the Liu bronze). I liked the ancient Bronze piece below with all the characters. I can’t remember the details of it now, but found it a particular interesting piece with all the inscriptions. Would like to know what it is?  There are over 400 bronze on display at the Shanghai Museum . A wonderful collection from such an ancient civilization.

Ancient Bronze Ding
Ancient Bronze Ding -Western Han (206BC-8AD)
Ancient Bronze Shanghai Museum

Ancient Bronze with Chinese characters – Shanghai Museum

Ancient Chinese Ceramics

The second floor of the Shanghai Museum displays ancient Chinese Ceramics  and Zande Lou Ceramics. Ceramics are my particular interest as I made pottery for many years and have read about and admired these ancient pots, and studied the history of Chinese ceramics and glazes. I never thought I would ever see the real thing. It was an awesome experience.


Zun (wine vessel) Song Dynasty Shanghai Museum

Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy

The Third Floor of the Shanghai Museum has Chinese Painting, Calligraphy, Liangtuxuan, and the Chinese Seal Gallery. It was all so interesting. Apart from the pottery and bronze, the painting and calligraphy are wonderful viewing, even the Seal Gallery is a fascinating subject. On the fourth floor the gallery of Chinese Minority Nationalities has some exquisite bone carvings and embroidery items, also separate galleries for ancient Chinese Jades, Coins, Ming and Qing furniture.  If you have any appreciation of Art  you will enjoy the  Shanghai Museum. Look for the Bronze Ding ritual vessels, there are a few different ones to compare.

Chrysanthemum Pot- Shanghai Museum

Shanghai Museum


201 Renmin avenue, People’s Square, Huangpu, Shanghai.

Opening hours: 9:00 am – 5.00pm Admission is free.

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