The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of July 13, 2024

Cylindrical Container with Cover (Lian)

Cylindrical Container with Cover (Lian)

100 BCE–100 CE
(202 BCE–220 CE)
Diameter: 16 cm (6 5/16 in.); Overall: 17.2 cm (6 3/4 in.)


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.
  • ?–1972
    (Robert H. Ellsworth, Ltd., New York, NY, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art)
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Lee, Sherman E. “The Year in Review for 1972.” The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, vol. 60, no. 3, 1973, pp. 63–115. Mentioned: p. 115, no. 309
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1978. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978. Reproduced: p. 333
  • Dayton Art Institute, "Chinese Gold and Silver from the T'ang Dynasty from American Collections," Showings: 11/3/1984-1/6/1985, Dayton; 2/5/1985-4/21/1985, Cooper Hewitt, NY
    CMA 1973: "Year in Review 1972," Bull., LX (March 1973), p. 115, cat. #309, repr. p. 95
  • {{cite web|title=Cylindrical Container with Cover (Lian)|url=false|author=|year=100 BCE–100 CE|access-date=13 July 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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