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AUA Oriental Art

Hu Shape Green-Glazed Vase, Han Dynasty

Hu Shape Green-Glazed Vase, Han Dynasty

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A 'Hu' is a type of large jar or pot that was commonly used in China for storage purposes, including holding liquids or dry goods like grains. This particular shape of pottery usually features a wide body and a narrow opening, and sometimes comes with a lid. The 'Hu' could also be more elongated with a slender neck, designed for easy pouring of liquids.

The rainbow-like colors on this green-glazed surface come from changes that happen over hundreds of years while it's buried. This process is also known as "iridescence" and is often observed in ancient Chinese green pottery. Interactions with minute amounts of moisture, minerals, and other chemical substances in the soil can create fine cracks on the surface of the glaze or gradually alter the chemical structure of the glaze itself. As a result, light refracting through these cracks or altered structures makes it appear as if the surface is reflecting various colors of light.

Period : Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD)
Type : Green-Glazed
Medium : Earthenware
Height : 14.2cm
Provenance : The piece was acquired in Hong Kong in the year 1999.
Reference : THE MET Accession Number: 26.292.83


* Han Dynasty Pottery

Han Dynasty pottery, originating from one of China's most significant historical periods (202 BCE – 220 CE), is renowned for its technological and artistic achievements in ceramic production. These artifacts typically feature a distinctive green celadon glaze, although other colors were also used. The pottery often includes intricate decorative motifs, such as animals, mythological figures, and geometric patterns.

The craftsmanship during the Han Dynasty was advanced, with pottery techniques that were innovative for the time. These pieces were not only utilitarian but also held ceremonial and symbolic significance. The shapes and designs of Han Dynasty pottery vary, including items like urns, vases, and figures, reflecting both the daily life and the spiritual beliefs of the period.

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