Eastern Han bronze houlou, or tripod wine vessel. Also called a tilianghu (literally, 'overhead handled pot'). Henan province. 25 BC - 220 AD. 8 1/4" total height x 6 1/2" across handles. The lid, which becomes a cup when turned onto its tripod 'handles,' is 3 3/16" x 5" dia. Vessel is 6 1/4" x 6" dia. 4 lb. 13 oz. On an attractive foundation of brick-red cuprite oxidation, an irregular efflorescence ranging from sea-green through warm grays forms the patina. Within the lid and particularly in the vessel are yellow loess earthen deposits. Examples at the Henan Provincial Museum at Zhengzhou, and a similar dragon headed handle can be seen in plate 105 of Historical Relics Unearthed in New China, Peking, 1972. A classic Han form in fine condition.