Han Long-Necked Bronze Hu

SKU H.692

206 BC to 220 AD


13.5″ (34.3cm) high





Gallery Location

S Korea


This long-necked bronze hu is notable for its elegant simplicity. Such a vessel would have functioned as a container of sumptuous wines. This refined hu is essentially unadorned, save for a protruding ring along the neck of the vessel. However, this ring is more functional than decorative, serving as a grip to lift the vessel and pour out its precious contents. Most notable is the distinctive garlic-shaped mouth. Originally, a lid would have capped this hu; however, it has long since vanished. Over the ages, the bronze has acquired a fabulous patina of alternating green and burgundy hues, adding both delightful colors and pleasing textures to this otherwise sparsely adorned vessel. Such a work, forged from bronze, would have been the treasured possession of an elite member of the Han Dynasty social hierarchy. Quite simply, only a court nobility of wealthy merchants could afford such a luxury. Although this vessel would have functioned as a wine container in life, it was found discovered buried in a tomb. A symbol for the bountiful pleasures of life, for drinking and feasting, this hu would have represented the joys to be experienced in the afterlife and the feasts and celebrations yet to come. Today, this vessel is not only a gorgeous work of art, treasured for its history and rarity; but also a stunning reminder of the richness and luxury of the Han Dynasty, both in this world and the next.

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