Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – A.D. 220)
the monster-mask with bulging eyes set under wide flat scrolled eyebrows which join and curve down to form the hooked nose supporting the solid loose ring, the sides of the mask formed as ‘C’-scrolls ending in tight spirals, the forehead centered with an inset linear ‘mountain peak’, the reverse with a pierced tab for attachment, the smooth burnished surface showing traces of bright green patination widely scattered and remains of encrusted earth, the back of the mask left plain and unfinished.
Height overall 3 3⁄8 inches (8.5 cm)
A smaller gilt bronze taotie mask and ring handle of very similar form, originally mounted on a lacquer lian, unearthed from the Han imperial tomb complex at Mancheng in Hebei province, is illustrated in the excavation report Mancheng Han mu fajue baogao (Excavation Report of the Han Dynasty Tombs in Mancheng), Vol. II, Beijing, 1980, pl. 217, no. 2. A lacquer lian from the same tomb decorated with a similar mask and handle is illustrated in a line drawing, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 301, pl. 202.
漢 饕餮銀鋪首 通高 8.5 厘米