Old Chinese horn libation cup with carved Chilong Dragons and Taotie mask, hand-carved ox horn
Measures: 154x103x86mm - 6.06x4.05x3.38"
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A Taotie mask is carved on the front. The typical characteristics of the mask include large and protruding eyes; stylized representations of eyebrows, horns, crest of nose, ears and two peripheral legs; and a line of a curled upper lip with exposed fangs and no lower jaw. The name taotie ("glutton"), which came into use in the third century BC, was probably inspired by the fact that the monster is usually portrayed as an ever-devouring beast. The function of the taotie motif has been interpreted in various ways: it can be a totemic, protective or abstract representation, symbolic of the forces of nature.
In the rear the head of a Chilong dragon appears and there are two others on the sides of the main one. The dragon "Chilong" or "hornless Dragon" is a resource widely used in carvings of all kinds of materials, quite common in the Ming and Qing dynasties.
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