Hu painted vase with a taotie mask
Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE)
H. 35 cm or 13 ¾ in
This pleasant hu 壺 funerary vessel produced during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE) was used to preserve liquids but also to accompany the deceased to the grave. It is inspired by the traditional bronze vessels of the time and is distinguished by its delicate painted decoration still apparent in multiple areas and which originally covered the entire piece. Indeed, the vase has a decoration formed by white stripes as well as patterns assembling geometric shapes and colored spirals. This hu vase also proudly displays on its body two decorative handles surmounted by an enchanting and very well preserved animal mask, known as a taotie mask, and frequently found in the archaic Chinese ornamental style.
This artwork is in good condition, despite the presence of a few small cracks on the base of the vase. Its elegant decoration is still partially visible and has kept its pleasant colors.