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Canopy gongmao in the Shape of Dragon Head
Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-220A.D.)

This vessel of early Western Han Dynasty is a gongmao of an ancient canopy or curtain. The whole body of the vessel is in the shape of a dragon in the form of the letter S. The hollow dragon body can be stuck with canopy ribs, and the barb designed on the body is used as a hook of the fabric of canopy surface. With gilding on its whole body, the vessel bears magnificent hue and superb craftsmanship of sculpture. Its body rising up like flying, its double ears upright obliquely, and its two eyes open widely, the ferocious dragon with a cavernous mouth and sharp teeth is just like a king cobra which is preparing for an attack.
The tombs of Han Dynasty excavated to date are numerous, so are the fore-end ornaments of canopy ribs of this kind, namely the canopy gongmao. However, this gongmao is the most splendid and exquisite one of its kind. Experts praise it as the dragon of the highest artistic quality in Han Dynasty that have been discovered to date and estimate that it used to belong to the aristocracy of the highest level in Han Dynasty, even to an emperor. Indeed, it is considered by some scholar to be excavated from the Yangling Mausoleum, tomb of the Emperor Jing of the Western Han Dynasty and to have been the ornament on the canopy of the emperor.
Engraved with five thread-like words of “the Thirteenth in the West” in official script on the dragon body, this gongmao was the thirteenth one counted from the west of the twenty-eight ribs (symbols of the twenty-eight constellations) of the emperor’s canopy, the numerical digits engraved on which were provided against mistakes in the assembly and disassembly of the canopy.
s lamp is the three small sculptures under the lamp plate. The sculptures are quite vivid. Half squatting down, they manage to lift up the thing on their shoulders. All of these three beings have a flat face with hair coiled up to form a bun. They only wear a pair of T-shaped shorts, and have tattoos over a large area of ​​their bodies, making them extremely similar to today's Japanese sumo wrestler. This lamp is one of the important real evidence to prove that Japan Sumo originates from China.


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