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Millennia-old lacquerware exhibited in the Jiangxi Provincial Museum

Date: 2022.11.25 Author: Ji Chun

A lacquered plate decorated with dragon patterns, unearthed from the tomb of the Marquis of Haihun, has been exhibited in the Jiangxi Provincial Museum since 16 November.


The Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.- 25 A.D.) tomb near Nanchang, the capital of Jiangxi Province in eastern China, is one of the few imperial tombs that have never been looted.


In addition to the plate, seven pieces of lacquered woodware from the tomb are also on display at the museum in Nanchang. This is the first batch of lacquered woodware unearthed from the marquis tomb that has been restored and is now ready for display.More than 3,000 pieces of lacquered woodware were found in the tomb, of which over 1,100 are relatively well preserved. They filled in the gap in the archeological history of lacquerware discovery in large tombs in the middle and late Western Han Dynasty.


As lacquered woodware is usually fragile, experts have been carrying out restoration work on the unearthed woodware since 2015 when the lacquered items were unearthed for the first time.


A total of 960 pieces or units of lacquerware, mainly lacquered plates and lacquered ear cups, were included in the first batch of items for restoration and over 100 items have been fully restored so far. The second list of items for restoration includes lacquered boxes, lacquered cosmetic boxes and other exquisite lacquerware.


As restoration progresses, more antiques will be exhibited for the audience.


The excavation of the tomb began in 2011. The remains of Liu He, known as the Marquis of Haihun, were found in a coffin in an inner chamber and removed in January 2016 for further research.