Green lead-glazed Hu Vase with zoomorphic decoration

Han dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.)
H. 35 cm or 13 ¾ in

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This hu 壺 type ceramic presents a superb bright green colour. Dating from the Han period (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.) it is a monochrome lead-glazed terracotta. Its colour is the result of the combination of lead with copper or iron oxide. The production of these ceramics is characteristic of the Han dynasty and it took precedence over the production of bronze vases which were very expensive.

Harmonious in its proportions, this vase is also decorated on its body. A zoomorphic band with lions and dragons in relief adorns its shoulder. They frame two pushou motifs. This form is composed of a taotie mask 饕餮 and a ring, the whole drawing a knocker.

Condition report:

This hu vase is in very good condition. The vividness of its colour has survived the ages and it does not show any structural anomalies. You can see traces of fire clay, in the form of droplets, that are present around the lip and on the underside of the foot.