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14 février 2024

Amphora with dragon-shaped handles, Tang dynasty (618–907), 7th century

Amphora with dragon-shaped handles, Tang dynasty (618–907), 7th century

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Amphora with dragon-shaped handles, Tang dynasty (618–907), 7th century. Stoneware with raised decoration and pale buff glaze. H. 51.1 cm, Diam. 27.3 cm, Diam. of foot 12.4 cm. Gift of Robert E. Tod, 1938, 38.56.7. © 2000–2024 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This wine container reflects the cosmopolitanism of Chinese art in the seventh and eighth centuries. Its ovoid body and tall neck recall the shape of Greco-Roman amphoras made in the eastern Mediterranean, while its animal-headed handles allude to versions in Persian and Central Asian metalwork. But the fine buff glaze of its stoneware is distinctively local, and the handles’ animal heads have turned into Chinese dragons.
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