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HOME : Chinese Art : Han Bronze Vessels : Han Bronze Wine Vase With Handle
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Han Bronze Wine Vase With Handle - PF.4545
Origin: China
Circa: 206 BC to 220 AD
Dimensions: 12" (30.5cm) high
Collection: Chinese
Medium: Bronze

Location: United States
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This slender-necked flask is representative of the Han practice of imitating earlier bronze traditions.  Combining the styles inherited from the Shang with new technical skills, the Han were able to make an innovative contribution to the tradition of ritual object making.  The transformation of the lips into the shape of a blooming flower attests to artisan's commitment to tradition and innovation.  The sensual shape of the flask adds to the beauty of this vessel that was used to hold wine in ceremonies and banquets.

A traditional feature of early bronzeware is the two-headed dragon handle. This distinctive handle connects the sides of the vessel with two long chains held in the mouths of a dragon and an upside down Taotie mask.  Four large Taotie animal masks are placed on top of the belly in positions representing the Four Directions.  The Taotie motif evolved from early bronzeware decor, probably out of the desire to propitiate the forces of the animal world to ensure a bountiful harvest and beneficial happenings.
- (PF.4545)


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