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Pottery Replica of an Oil Lamp

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Pottery Replica of an Oil Lamp

Han Dynasty (206 BC – AD 220) tombs included replicas of everything necessary for the afterlife, including attendants, farm animals, vessels and various implements. This unusually large two-part oil lamp is built upon a bell-shaped base decorated with applied moulded figures and birds. The central column supports a circular basin with four oil lamps followed by a bulbous connecting section. The upper section features a second circular basin and the uppermost bulbous section is modeled as a bird with wings and upright. The structure of lamps this one was most likely inspired by bronze originals. Actual Han dynasty lamps would have had vegetable oil or paraffin to fuel wicks that would float in the bowls. Condition: various restorations and repairs, including to the bird wings, the lower bell and upper basin. The piece likely had additional figures applied to both basins; they are lost. The piece is exceptionally large and its lead-glazed surface shows consistent patina in the form of rich iridescence and complex mineral deposits.
Origin | China
Year Made | 206 BC - AD 220
Material | Earthernware
Dimensions | 12"W x 12"D x 35"H
ID | 17M02021
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