Hu (Jar)

481–221 BCE
Location: not on view
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On the vessel’s shoulders are applied taotie masks from which stem vertical loops for holding the vessel possibly with a rope.


The hunting scenes in flat, low relief on this vessel are among the earliest pictorial scenes in Chinese art, dating from the beginning of the Late Zhou period (481–221 BC).

There are six horizontal bands of low relief designs across the body of the vessel. Each is composed of repeating motifs. The short slightly flaring neck has a narrow band of plait pattern, below which is a vivid hunting scene. The hunter holding a long spear and a sword faces off with a feline covered in circle patterns.

The main body of the vessel is decorated with two wide bands of interlacing dragons, separated by a band with another hunting scene. This hunter faces two horned beasts whose rear leg has been pierced by a spear.

The repeating pattern in the lowest band features two long-legged birds and a small fish.
Hu (Jar)

Hu (Jar)

481–221 BCE

China, Eastern Zhou dynasty (770–256 BCE), Warring States period (475–221 BCE)

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