A ding or ting is an ancient vessel with legs and a lid.
Dings can be made of ceramic or bronze in various shapes. The older dings are dated back to Shang Dynasty. Inscriptions on dings and are studied for bronzeware script.
In Chinese history and culture, possession of an ancient ding is often associated with power and dominion over the land. Therefore, the ding is often used as an implicit symbolism for power. The term "inquiring ding" is often used interchangeably with conquest for power.
Perhaps the most famous ancient ding were the Nine Ding. This set of nine vessels was said to have been made by of the Xia Dynasty when he divided his territory into nine provinces, and possession of all nine was considered a sign of rightful authority over . The whereabouts of the nine ding are presently unknown, but they were said to have been lost sometime during the Qin dynasty, after having been passed among various royal dynasties and feudal states.
The architecture of the Shanghai Museum is intended to resemble a bronze ding.