Garlic Head bottle Vase

Han dynasty (206 B.C – 220  A.D)
H. 29 cm or 11 ⅜ in / d. 22 cm (max) or 8 ⅝ in



This lovely terracotta is a hu 壺 bottle vase that shows delicate remnants of its original polychromy. Its low, globular body is topped by a long, tubular neck, decorated with a circle and ending in a garlic head. This form of vase is a classic of ceramic production during the Han dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.) and is notably based on bronze prototypes of the same period.  Their primary function was dedicated to the preservation of liquids such as fermented beverages but they also served as funerary furniture such as mingqi, funerary substitutes that would accompany the deceased to his grave for his last journey.

Condition report:

This piece is in its entirety in very good condition and some of its polychrome decoration is still visible.