This celadon jade carving of a vessel with lid is a late 19th or early 20th century product. The vessel is called a "ding;" 鼎 a "Taotie" 饕餮 mask appears on both sides of the vessel. It is 5 ½” high (with carved hard wood base is 6 ¾” high), 7 ¾” wide and 2” thick.
A ding is an ancient Chinese cauldron with legs, a lid and two handles opposite each other. They were made in two shapes with round vessels having three legs and rectangular ones four. During the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC) and Zhou Dynasty (1046- 256 BC), ding vessels were cast in bronze. This is the period to which the oldest examples of dings date back. Inscriptions found on dings and other bronze vessels are used to study ancient Chinese script. They were used for cooking, storage and the preparation of ritual offerings to ancestors.
Ancient Chinese bronze vessels were often adorned with patterns and animal motifs. The most well know is the Taotie mask. The Taotie (sometimes translated as a gluttonous ogre mask) is commonly found on ritual bronze vessels from the Shang and Zhou dynasties. The design typically consists of a zoomorphic mask; it presents a frontal view, symmetrical on either side, with a pair of raised eyes and typically no lower jaw area.
It is in great condition.