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Eared Cup (Erbei) with Warming Stand (Lu)

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze.


late Western Han/early Eastern Han, 1st century B.C./1st century A.D.



About this artwork

Eared cups with warming stands were probably used to heat sauces for meat. Each side of these warming stands is cast with one of the Animals of the Four Directions (si shen)—the Green Dragon of the East, the White Tiger of the West, the Black Warrior (tortoise and snake) of the North, and the Red Bird of the South. In Han art, the pervasive appearance of these symbolic animals reflects a desire to center the owner within the favorable influences of the universe.


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Arts of Asia


Eared Cup (Erbei) with Warming Stand (Lu)


China (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Artist's working dates 99 BCE–99 CE




Cup: 3.6 × 12.6 × 10.6 cm (1 7/16 × 4 15/16 × 4 3/16 in.); Stand: 9.7 × 24 × 12 cm (3 13/16 × 9 7/16 × 4 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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