Pair of fanghu bottles

The bottle hu 壺, which appeared in the typology of ritual bronzes during the Western Zhou dynasty (circa 1050-771 BC), was used to contain cereals or alcohol resulting from their fermentation. Its angles could be sharp or rounded. Under the Western Han, the pair of funerary surrogates of fanghu, made of all kinds of materials, is no longer found only in the graves of the elite, but also in those of common people.

Here, the decor of cloudy scrolls, inspired by that of lacquerware, reflects the rise to power of ancient beliefs generally qualified as Taoist. Funerary vases, often in pairs and sometimes containing the same content, are found until the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). This durability is perhaps linked to the notion of germination and potential rebirth common to many cultures.


Pair of quadrangular bottles fanghu
Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – 9 AD), XNUMXnd century BC. AD, China
Terracotta painted with cold pigments
H.43,9cm; L. max. 20,2 cm
MC 9918

Gift of the Society of Friends of the Cernuschi Museum, 1995

Photo credit :

© Paris Museums / Cernuschi Museum


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