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HOME : Chinese Art : Han Glazed Vessels : Han Green-Glazed Lien
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Han Green-Glazed Lien - CK.0302
Origin: China
Circa: 206 BC to 220 AD
Dimensions: 9" (22.9cm) high x 7.8" (19.8cm) wide
Collection: Chinese Art
Medium: Glazed Terracotta

Location: UAE
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Lidded food containers of this type are known as liens. This lively green-glazed lien is notable for its elegant decorations. The fabulously molded lid takes on the form of the Sacred Mountain, featuring various animals and mythological creatures climbing towards its jagged peaks. The container stands raised on three charming feet molded in the shapes of bears carrying the vessel on their backs. The side of the body is embellished with a panel in low relief natural motifs reiterating the Sacred Mountain. Here, tigers and bears are seen frolicking through the countryside. Two purely decorative Tao Tieh mask handles, depicting mythological Dragons, are also visible on the side of the body. These Tao Tieh masks relate to similar bronze examples where the handles are actually functional. The gorgeous green glaze recalls such bronze works. Although this vessel would have functioned as a food storage container in life, it was found discovered buried in a tomb. Such a work might have originally been buried containing food inside, to be consumed by the deceased in the afterlife. A symbol for the bountiful pleasures of life, for eating and feasting, this lien would have represented the joys to be experienced in the afterlife and the feasts and celebrations yet to come. Today, this vessel is not only a gorgeous work of art, treasured for its history and rarity; but also a stunning reminder of the richness and luxury of the Han Dynasty, both in this world and the next. - (CK.0302)


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