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Covered Tripod Vessel


Artwork Details

Covered Tripod Vessel
206 BCE-25 CE
earthenware with mineral paint
8 in x 9 5/16 in x 8 1/4 in (20.32 cm x 23.6 cm x 21 cm);6 1/2 in x 8 7/8 in x 8 1/4 in (16.5 cm x 22.6 cm x 21 cm);1 5/8 in x 8 1/4 in x 8 1/4 in (4.2 cm x 21 cm x 21 cm)
Gift of Domino's Pizza, Inc.

On Display

Not currently on display


Subject Matter:

These types of polychrome painted lian (奁, tripod incense burning vessels) were made in northern workshops of the Western Han dynasty (206 BCE-25 CE). Burning incense was a common practice during the Han dynasty to expel evil spirits. Ceramic incense burners have primarily been found in tombs in Henan province. 
The scrolling cloud design, thought to be an auspicious motif with the power to ward off evil spirits, is the predominant decoration on Han artifacts and can be found in all media. Polychrome painted earthenware ceramics were found primarily in aristocratic and elite tombs. 

Physical Description:

This gray earthenware cylindrical vessel rests on three articulated feet. It is covered with a low, domed cap lid.  Painted on the body and lid is a scrolling cloud motif in red, white, purple, and black mineral pigments.

Usage Rights:

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