As with most Han bronzes, this tripod utensil is marked with a simplicity and plainness at odds with the elaborately decorated ritual bronzes of the preceding Shang and Zhou dynasties. The dragon's head, as cast on the long handle, may not have had a deep religious meaning, serving instead as an auspicious symbol. The 'jiao dou' was a wine-warming utensil, examples of which have been found in archaeological contexts placed atop iron stoves.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, January 2012
Tripod brazier (jiao dou)
Place where the work was made
Han dynasty 206 BCE - 220 CE → China
25 CE-220 CE
12.0 x 15.4 cm bowl; 19.3 cm overall height
Gift of Mr F. Storch 1980
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Referenced in 2 publications
Jackie Menzies, Three years on: a selection of acquisitions 1978-1981, 'Asian Art', pg. 85-103, Sydney, 1981, 102 (illus.). cat.no. 33
Early Chinese Art, Sydney, 1983, (illus.) not paginated. cat.no. XVIII. See 'Further Information' for text.