3 sections; green glaze; 3 tiers, each with 4 small basins with stylized bird's heads, wings and tail, with one larger basin at top; 2 dogs running near central element of middle section

Pottery Lamp, 1st century

Unknown artist, expand_more
G215expand_more

This grand, three-tiered pottery lamp was originally placed in an Eastern Han dynasty tomb where it was deemed necessary for the soul's safe journey into the next life. The complex structure probably replicates even more elaborate bronze lamps used by Han dynasty aristocrats in their homes and palaces. By this time, the Chinese had already developed a taste for decorative lanterns and special lighting effects. Most lamps of this period used floating wicks fueled by vegetable oil or paraffin.

Details
Title
Pottery Lamp
Role
Artist
Accession Number
99.68a-c
Curator Approved

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3 sections; green glaze; 3 tiers, each with 4 small basins with stylized bird's heads, wings and tail, with one larger basin at top; 2 dogs running near central element of middle section