Chinese / Silver service / Song dynasty (960-1279), 11th-13th centuryChinese
Silver service
Song dynasty (960-1279), 11th-13th century

View Larger Image

View Full Catalog Record Below

This image is one of over 108,000 from the AMICA Library (formerly The Art Museum Image Consortium Library- The AMICO Library™), a growing online collection of high-quality, digital art images from over 20 museums around the world. offers subscriptions to this collection, the finest art image database available on the internet. EVERY image has full curatorial text and can be studied in depth by zooming into the smallest details from within the Image Workspace.
Preview the AMICA Library™ Public Collection in Luna Browser Now

  • Cultures and time periods represented range from contemporary art, to ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian works.
  • Types of works include paintings, drawings, watercolors, sculptures, costumes, jewelry, furniture, prints, photographs, textiles, decorative art, books and manuscripts.

Gain access to this incredible resource through either a monthly or a yearly subscription and search the entire collection from your desktop, compare multiple images side by side and zoom into the minute details of the images. Visit for more information on the collection, click on the link below the revolving thumbnail to the right, or email us at .

Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Chinese
Creator Name-CRT: Chinese
Title: Silver service
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1000
Creation End Date: 1279
Creation Date: Song dynasty (960-1279), 11th-13th century
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Metalwork
Materials and Techniques: silver with gilding
Dimensions: Diam. from 4 3/8 in. (11.1 cm) to 7 1/2 in. (19 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1997.33.1-6
Credit Line: Purchase, The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift, 1997

Prior to the Tang dynasty (618-907), bronze, jade, and lacquer were the most highly prized materials, and silver and gold were used only sporadically, primarily for inlay. Close ties among China, Persia, and the regions northwest of India developed during the fifth and sixth centuries and led to the introduction of vessels and utensils of gold and of silver that were frequently emulated in the seventh and eighth centuries. Silver vessels produced during the Song period (960-1279) were used mainly for formal entertaining. This set of two plates, two small bowls, and a large bowl with a stand is likely to have been made in one of the cities along the lower reaches of the Yangzi (Yangtse) River. These prosperous cities had become centers for the manufacture of luxury goods at the beginning of the dynasty. The Museum's vessels share common shapes with Song pieces in porcelain and lacquer. The flower-and-bird decoration, in chased and punched work, was executed in a pure Chinese manner. Particularly noteworthy is the prominence of bamboo in the ornament, as this plant became a popular motif in the decorative arts only in the late eleventh century. The single trace of an earlier tradition, going back to the Tang dynasty, is the use of gilding over the areas of the designs.

AMICA ID: MMA_.1997.33.1-6
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

AMICA PUBLIC RIGHTS: a) Access to the materials is granted for personal and non-commercial use. b) A full educational license for non-commercial use is available from Cartography Associates at c) Licensed users may continue their examination of additional materials provided by Cartography Associates, and d) commercial rights are available from the rights holder.

Home | Subscribe | Preview | Benefits | About | Help | Contact
Copyright © 2007 Cartography Associates.
All rights reserved.