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Wang zuo zuo shou ding 
 Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771B.C.) 
This large ding in late Western Zhou Dynasty bears a six-character inscription of Wang zuo ding yi zuo shou on the inside wall of its body, which demonstrates the vessel’s special use for ritual sacrifices by Zhou King. The ding with a full height of 41.5cm is shaped majestically. On the outside wall of its body, the ding bears a design of twelve large phoenixes looking back and rolling up their tails, below which is a design of dense cirrus cloud towards the bottom. In view of its shape and decoration, the ding is considered by experts to have belonged to King Gong in the mid Western Zhou Dynasty or the later King Yi or King Li of Zhou. In spite of an exploration of almost one hundred years, the archaeologists have never discovered any trace of the tombs of Western Zhou kings. Besides, the number of the bronze vessels which have been identified as the belongings of Zhou kings and preserved to date is merely six or seven. Therefore, as the only ding of the vessels, it is extremely rare and precious. 
This ding was collected in the Poly Art Museum in late December of 1999. At that time, the experts of the museum discovered it in an antique shop in Hong Kong by coincidence. The vessel then was covered with a layer of green rust both inside and outside, and several scratches for a vain search for inscriptions in its inside bottom. Thanks to their knowledge that inscriptions tend to be on the inside wall rather than in the bottom, the experts changed their focus to the inside wall of the ding’s body. Unexpectedly, they discovered two faint horizontal lines under the rust near the rim of the vessel, which bore a close resemblance to the character of wang or king.
Then the experts maintained their composure and offered to the owner to bring the ding back to Beijing. The ding was sent to be X-rayed in the unit concerned as soon as it arrived in Beijing. And the result of the examination confirmed the experts’ guess of the existence of inscriptions under the green rust on the inside wall of the vessel’s body. After the removal of the rust, the bronze ding’s inscriptions concealed for many years were finally in full view. And a new important archaeological discovery of Chinese cultural relics was made by this coincidence.


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