Touhu vase

Touhu vase
China, Qing dynasty (1644-1912)
reign of Kangxi (1662-1722)
moulded and patinated bronze
Purchase, 1884
Inv. 525
© MAD, Paris

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Touhu vases are typically bottle-shaped with two tubes on either side of a high, straight neck. The Chinese elite used them for a game of skill called touhu, consisting in throwing arrows into the mouth or two tubes. Touhu was played at banquets or ceremonies during the Zhou period (1050-221 BC). It became fashionable again during the Song (960-1279) and Ming (1368-1644) dynasties. Smaller in size, this vase refers to this game and was used for flowers or incense utensils (sticks and spatula).