History and Literature
Taotie patterns, a unique type popular at that time, were often used on bronze wares, especially on the ding (ancient three-legged vessels). Taotie refers to a mysterious and ferocious beast with a head alone in the imagination of the ancient Chinese. In some legends, Taotie is a symbol of courage and bravery, while others regard it as a symbol of greediness. Taotie patterns feature a rigid order and layout. The bridge of the nose as the midline, the things on its two sides are lined up in a symmetric way. The Taotie patterns of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties vary in design, some of which resemble a dragon, a tiger, an ox, a sheep, or a deer, and some a bird, a phoenix or a human being.