Chinese / Lobed Dish / Liao period (907-1125)Chinese
Lobed Dish
Liao period (907-1125)

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Chinese
Creator Name-CRT: Chinese
Title: Lobed Dish
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 907
Creation End Date: 1125
Creation Date: Liao period (907-1125)
Creation Place: North China
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Metalwork
Materials and Techniques: Silver-gilt with embossing
Dimensions: H. 3/4 in. (1.9 cm); D. 4 7/8 in. (12.4 cm) across points
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.116
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Context: The Liao dynasty (907-1125), established on China's northeastern frontier, displaced the Tang dynasty (618-906) and encompassed parts of Hebei Province as well as areas of Inner Mongolia and Central Asia. It was ruled by a seminomadic people known as the Qidan. At the height of their power, they had five capitals, one of which they established in Beijing. The Liao adopted many Tang-period art forms, particularly the traditions of pottery and metalwork. The decoration of this small, lobed, silver-gilt dish illustrates the mixture of Tang and other traditions often found in Liao art. The scrolling vines, some of which are filled with birds, on the rim and upper part of the interior are among the motifs popular in Tang metalwork. The scene on the base of the interior, though, is very unusual: three figures, two walking and one mounted, are shown hunting in a landscape of rolling hills. Both of the standing figures hold weapons, and they appear to be fighting with two very large snakes, giving this scene a strong narrative quality, although no specific story has yet been identified. This type of hunting scene is generally found in the decoration of bronzes during the Han dynasty (206 BCE-CE 220). As a result, the dating of this silver-gilt dish is problematic. It has been suggested that it is a very rare example of 6th-century Chinese metalwork, predating the great flourishing of this art form during the Tang. However, preliminary scientific examination of the dish has shown that its production methods and chemical composition are consistent with other known examples of Liao metalwork, suggesting a post-Tang date of manufacture.
Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 55.
Related Document Description: Lee, Sherman E. Asian Art: Selections from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd--Part II. New York: Asia Society, 1975, pp. 40, 95.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.116
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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