Hu Flask with Standing Bird and Flower of Eight Petals

Accession No. R019024
Period Eastern Chou
Material Bronze
Findspot Tomb No. 01 Shan-piao-chen Site
Geographic Location Shanpiao Town, Weihui City, Henan Province, China
Dimension H. 64.3 cm; Diam. of rim 14.6 cm


This hu flask was found at Tomb M1, of the Shan-biao-zhen site, making a pair with R018571. The flask has a narrow neck and a globular body, and overall is well-proportioned and balanced. The lid of the flask is decorated with an openwork design of a standing bird and an eight-petaled lotus. The lid is formed with two parts, first is a ring with eight out-curving lotus petals while the second is a round plate with a bird in the center. The standing bird is decorated with intricate designs; the birds wings are jointed at the body and removable. The pair of handles on either side of the flask, are positioned in the mouths of animal-masks. The body of the flask is inscribed with eight bands of coiled dragon patterns, with four-leaf patterns filling in the space between each dragon. The flask was manufactured by the piece-mold casting technique. The decorative patterns on the flask were created with the stamp-mold technique; thus, some overlapping prints can be observed. On the bottom and lower body joining marks are present, indicating the body and the bottom of the flask were casted separately. Research shows that Tomb M1 of the Shan-piao-chen site is a burial of the Jin State; the bronze wares from this site are well-proportioned and are of the same style as the Hou-ma bronze foundry.