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Silk Road Luxuries from China

Luxury Goods

The wealthy and powerful Chinese who lived in and near the Tang capital at Chang'an (modern Xi'an) were interested in foreign styles and customs. Sumptuous gold and silver objects were prized as status symbols among these urban elites. To compete with highly valued imports, metropolitan workshops incorporated metalworking techniques from the west to produce Chinese variations of silver wine cups and lidded boxes.

These exceptional silver objects were probably made in Chang'an, Shaanxi province, during the early or mid-Tang dynasty (late seventh to early eighth century). They were created by casting (pouring liquid metal into a mold) and/or hammering the metal into shape. Decorations of dense, overall patterns were added using the metalworking techniques of repoussé, chasing, and ring-punching.

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Lobed Bowl

We are excited to reopen the Freer in October 2017, following a renovation to allow us to better present our art and serve our visitors. The Sackler remains open, with a full lineup of exhibitions and events both in the museum and around DC. For your safety, all visitors will have their bags checked. See the complete list of restricted items and bag sizes.