Bronze vessel, Hu
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- Han Dynasty, 206 BC - 220 AD
- 28 cm
- 23 cm
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The pear-shaped bronze wine vessel is rising from a flaring foot to a waisted neck and flaring mouth. On the body of the vessel are three bands cast in relief. On the shoulders of the hu is a pair of taotie masks with a movable ring. Over time, the bronze has acquired a beautiful green patina, with some areas of encrustation inside and outside the vessel.
The bronze vessel would have functioned as a wine vessel, used by an elite member of the nobility or wealthy merchant. The hu was found in a tomb and served as a burial gift; securing the deceased of the same luxury in the afterlife as he or she enjoyed on earth.