Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Ritual food vessel, or gui, with taotie mask pattern

  • loan

Glossary (2)

gui, taotie

  • gui

    A Chinese ritual food vessel with a deep bowl on a foot ring and handles.

  • taotie

    Stylized monster mask decoration with prominent eyes and scrolling horns. The motif has been known since the 1100s. Its significance remains mysterious.


    • currently in research collection

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.


Publications online

  • The Barlow Collection by the University of Sussex

    The Barlow Collection

    The wide rounded bowl has a flared rim, a high flaring foot, and curved handles with an animal head at the top and a hook at the bottom. The body is decorated with four taotie masks with central hooked motifs and eyes, eyebrows, ears, fangs, horns and further scroll motifs raised in a soft relief on a plain ground. Two masks are arranged around the handles, the other two on both sides around a small raised animal mask with curled horns. The foot shows a similarly styled band of dragons with central hooked flanges. Both design bands are enclosed between plain raised lines. The animal heads on the handles have rounded snouts and long pointed ears. The bronze has a dark brown patina with green patches and reddish-brown encrustations.

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