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Cylindrical Container with Cover (Lian)

Cylindrical Container with Cover (Lian)

100 BC- 100

Part of a set. See all set records

China, Han dynasty

(202 BC-AD 220)

Gilt bronze with openwork and chased designs

Diameter: 16 cm (6 5/16 in.); Overall: 17.2 cm (6 3/4 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1972.44.b


This magnificent gilded bronze vessel with openwork decoration shows all kinds of fabulous creatures, real and imaginary, chasing each other among swirling scrolls. There is an emphasis on the unbroken rhythms of movement, rather than the ferocity of animals in combat. Cylindrical bronze vessels in this shape, called lian, were often used as cosmetic boxes.

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