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Rectangular Bronze Stove with Dragon Head and Three Fire Holes
006763
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This rectangular stove has a hollow dragon head shaped chimney in the back. Three fire holes are on the surface for two caldrons and a pot. The fire holes in the front and back are the same size and caldrons are put inside them. The caldrons are round with bulging bellies, a mouth that folds outwards and a ring-like bottom. A single protruding line circles the shoulders, while the ears have two rings on them each. The pot, with its inwards folding mouth is placed in the middle fire hole. On the pot there are two knobs, and a protruding rim can be seen at the upper part of belly. Inside the belly is a round nose with a rectangular hole; the walls of the belly curve inwards while the bottom of the pot is flat. Casted bronze stoves are extremely rare in West Han Dynasty tombs, therefore this large and well preserved stove provides precious insight into the manufacturing industry, life and culture of the people during the West Han period.

History of the Object
The casting industry in Guangxi enjoyed great development during the Han Dynasties. In the early Han times, ceremonious bronze ding (ancient Chinese cooking vessel) and gui (ancient Chinese food container) along with pottery imitations of such items dominated burial objects. During the late Han period a trend in the development of funerary habits of the Han became prominent: models of stoves and granaries became increasing popular as burial items turned from favoring ritualistic wares to models reflecting manor life. This shows that the Guangxi area also underwent an economical transformation parallel to that of the central plains which resulted in the formation of the landlord manor economy. This transformation’s influence on people’s ideology is reflected in the change in funeral habits. The discovery of this rectangular bronze stove with dragon head and three fire holes recreates for us the scene of a lavish Han burial. The making of this stove used the separate casting technique of the Han Dynasty and reflects the people’s great casting metal skills during that time.

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Type
Archaeological 
Materials
Bronze 
Measurements
Length 72 cm, Width of Upper End 23cm, Width of Lower End 27 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
BCE 3rd century ~ BCE 1st century 
Creation date
BCE; 3rd Century BCE - 1st Century; Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – 25 AD) 
Function
Burial Object 
Acquisition
Archaeological Excavation 
Copyright
The Museum of Guang Xi Zhuang Autonomous Region 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
The Museum of Guang Xi Zhuang Autonomous Region 
Museum
The Museum of Guang Xi Zhuang Autonomous Region 
Credit line
The Museum of Guang Xi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Nanning 

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