Eastern Han Green-Glazed Terracotta Ding - H.604 - For Sale

Eastern Han Green-Glazed Terracotta Ding - H.604
Price: $6900.00
The Han Dynasty, like the Zhou before it, is divided into two distinct periods, the Western Han (206 B.C.-9 A.D.) and the Eastern Han (23-220 A.D.) with a brief interlude. Towards the end of the Western period, a series of weak emperors ruled the throne, controlled from behind the scenes by Wang Mang and Huo Guang, both relatives of empresses. They both exerted enormous influence over the government and when the last emperor suddenly passed away, Mang became ruling advisor, seizing this opportunity to declare his own Dynasty, the Xin, or “New.” However, another popular uprising began joined by the members of the Liu clan, the family that ruled the Han Dynasty, the Xin came to a quick end and the Eastern Han was established in its place with its capital at Loyang (Chang’an, the capital of the Western Han, was completely destroyed).However, even as Chinese influence spread across Southeastern Asia into new lands, the Eastern Han Dynasty was unable to recreate the glories of the Western Period. In fact, this period can be characterized by a bitter power struggle amongst a group of five consortial clans. These families sought to control the young, weak emperors with their court influence. Yet, as the emperors became distrustful of the rising power of the clans, they relied upon their eunuchs to defend them, often eliminating entire families at a time. During the Western Han, the Emperor was viewed as the center of the universe. However, this philosophy slowly disintegrated under the weak, vulnerable rulers of the Eastern Han, leading many scholars and officials to abandon the court. Eventually, the power of the Han would completely erode, ending with its dissolution and the beginning of the period known as the “Three Kingdoms.”Green and brown glaze vessels of the Han Dynasty are generally based on bronze predecessors but feature distinctive variations that are quite pleasing. This green-glazed ding is notable for its elegant decorations. The lid is embellished with a central roundel featuring two overlapping fish. This design is framed by a band adorned with a swirling geometric abstract pattern rendered in low relief while a serrated motif marks the outer edge of the lid. The presence of the fish no doubt relates to the function of this vessel. Dings were originally crafted in bronze and used to cook foods, hung over the fire by its high handles. However, the function would evolve from the preparation of foods to the presentation and serving of meals at festival rites and ceremonies. This ding rests on three legs molded to imitate horse hooves. The gorgeous green glaze recalls similar works in bronze, and the glaze has acquired a beautiful, soft iridescent patina over the ages. Commonly referred to as “silver frost,” this iridescence is the result of wet and dry periods in a tomb whereby the clay dissolves the lead glaze and redeposits it on the surface, where it hardens. A testament of age, this patina is also admired by collectors for its charming aesthetic qualities, similar in effect to mother of pearl. Although this vessel would have functioned as an elegant presentation for a dish in life, it was found discovered buried in a tomb. A symbol for the bountiful pleasures of life, for feasting and celebrating, this ding would have represented the joys to be experienced in the afterlife and the feasts and celebrations yet to come. Today, this vessel is not only a gorgeous work of art, treasured for its history and rarity; but also a stunning reminder of the richness and luxury of the Han Dynasty, both in this world and the next. - (H.604)

Ancient Asian
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Seller Details :
Barakat Gallery
405 North Rodeo Drive
Beverly Hills
Contact Details :
Email : barakat@barakatgallery.com
Phone : 310.859.8408

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