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Gallery Text

As its name implies, the Warring States period (475–221 BCE) was an era during which various states that were ruled by powerful clans competed for supremacy in China. The high demand for luxury goods to furnish the tombs of wealthy nobles enabled numerous artistic traditions to flourish, resulting in an array of ornate artifacts from this period and the subsequent Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE). Bronze vessels continued to be commissioned by the ruling elite during both eras, but the addition of gold and intricate openwork designs (here seen on the gilt bronze pedestaled dou and the small openwork pou vessels) transformed this previously austere tradition into a more decorative artistic craft. Jade containers made in shapes traditionally used for bronze or lacquer vessels (such as the three exhibited here) were the epitome of ostentation, as there was no better way to demonstrate wealth than to reproduce a luxury item in a more expensive medium.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1943.52.75.A
Title
Covered 'Dou' Food Container on High Foot with Animal-Mask Ring Handles, one of a pair
Classification
Vessels
Work Type
vessel
Date
206 BCE - 220 CE
Places
Creation Place: East Asia, China
Period
Han dynasty, 206 BCE-220 CE
Culture
Chinese
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/204290
Location
Level 1, Room 1600, Early Chinese Art, Arts of Ancient China from the Bronze Age to the Golden Age
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Gilt bronze
Dimensions
H. 14.5 x Diam. 11.1 cm (5 11/16 x 4 3/8 in.)
Provenance
Grenville L. Winthrop, New York (by 1943), bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1943.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
1943
Object Number
1943.52.75.A
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Exhibition History

S427: Ancient Chinese Bronzes and Jades, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 10/20/1985 - 04/30/2008

Re-View: S228-230 Arts of Asia, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 05/31/2008 - 06/01/2013

32Q: 1600 Early China II, Harvard Art Museums, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu