Iridescent hu vase with lead glaze and taotie pattern
Han dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.)
H. 47 cm or 18 ½ in
This vase is a remarkable hu 壺 type ceramic. Its entire body is covered with a very light monochromatic green color with pearlescent highlights. This brilliant surface is the result of the lead silicate-based lead glaze technique. Produced during the Han period (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.), this ceramic was buried and that is how it came to be in such a beautiful state of preservation and with such a unique silvery patina.
On its shoulder this ceramic is decorated with a taotie 饕餮 mask. This is an emblematic element of the Chinese ornamental repertoire. This motif surmounts a ring and the whole composes a pushou shape. Its mouth has a fine and harmonious rendering. The neck is decorated with a delicately incised frieze of triangular sections. Concentric circles in low relief decorate the shoulder and the body, giving this piece a unique originality making it extremely decorative.
This hu vase is in very good condition. It shows no structural anomalies. On the lip, some droplets, due to the firing technique of the time, are visible. Finally, some fire clay have remained on the bottom of the foot.