Collecting Case B4

Bronze mirrror


China, Tang Dynasty, 618–907 CE
DBC 10300.1

Lively figures on galloping horses are enclosed by an ornate, foliate rim. Horses continued to indicate prestige and wealth during the Tang Dynasty.

Mirror, Bronze inlaid with gold and silver


China, Han Dynasty, 206 BCE–220 CE
Bronze inlaid with gold and silver
DBC 10441.1

This large mirror exhibits an impressive and intricate inlay technique.

Three small bronze mirrors


China, Han Dynasty, 206 BCE–220 CE
DBC 10144.1

This smaller mirror has crouching lions between bosses and a geometric design in the border. A silk cord passed through the knob served as a handle.

Food vessel on three dragon legs


China, Western Zhou Dynasty, 1027–771 BCE
DBC 10429.1

This ritual food vessel stands on three flat stylized dragon legs. Geometric patterns embellish the bowl. Several characters cast into the interior are important early examples of Chinese writing.

Bronze food vessels

Pair of Covered Ding

China, Han Dynasty, 206 BCE–220 CE
DBC 10870.1/2

Pairs of food vessels like this are rare. The animal-shaped projections on the lid function as handles as well as feet when the cover is removed and set down.

Bronze Jue, wine goblet


China, Erlitou Period, ca. 1900–1600 BCE
DBC 10895.1

Jue, wine goblets


China, Shang Dynasty, ca. 1900–1027 BCE
DBC 10889.1

These two Jue, wine goblets, show the advances in technique and decoration made by bronze casters. The earlier one stands on three spindly legs and offers one of the earliest examples of decoration, dots and lines. The later one is more robust and has a bovine handle and taotie animal mask design. Cast in a piece mold, they would have been used for ritual ceremonies and then buried with their owners.

Porcelain vase  with tea dust glaze


China, Qing Dynasty, 1644–1911, reign of the Emperor Qianlong (1736–1795)
Porcelain with tea dust glaze
DBC 10786.1

Tea dust glazes were first achieved under Tang Yin (1682–1756), who was considered one of the greatest supervisors of the imperial kilns. They are based on earlier dark brown iron oxide glazes. This bears a Qianlong incised seal mark on the base.

Porcelain vase with oxblood glaze


China, Qing Dynasty, 1644–1911, reign of Emperor Kangxi (1662–1722)Porcelain with oxblood glaze
DBC 11185.1

Oxblood, sang de boeuf, or langyao glaze derives its red color from copper oxide fired in a reducing atmosphere. The name comes from Lang Tingji, who directed the official kilns at Jingdezhen from 1705 to 1712. It is believed he was responsible for the revival of monochrome wares and that the langyao glaze was developed under his supervision. This translucent glaze is thin at the top and becomes darker as it cascades down the body.

Porcelain vase with white glaze

Bottle Vase

China, Song Dynasty, 960–1279 CE
Porcelain with white glaze
DBC 10134.1

This vase is exceptional in form, color, and quality. The white glaze is lustrous and thick.

Figure of a torso wearing a priests robe

Torso of a Lohan

China, Tang Dynasty, 618–907
Painted pottery
DBC 11147.1

This figure represents one of the eighteen disciples of Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha. At his death, Shakyamuni charged them with maintaining the faith through preaching his teachings. Their varied age is suggested by this youthful figure, with his sensitively modelled features, in particular his eyes and mouth.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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