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Home History and Culture Changxin Palace Lamp
Changxin Palace Lamp
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

changxingongdengThere were a great varieties of lamps in ancient China, oil-burning lamps were a common means of night-time illumination in this and later periods. The Changxin Palace Lamp (cháng xìn gōng dēng 长信宫灯) of the Han Dynasty ( hàncháo 汉朝) (208BC220AD) is a veritable treasure.
The Changxin Palace Lamp is made of bronze and is gold coated (líu jīn 鎏金). Textual research shows this lantern was used by the mother of Emperor Jingdi (jǐngdì 景帝) (156-140BC).The lantern has an ingenious design and as a whole, it is the shape of a maid of honor on her knees holding a lantern. The lamp she holds is pivoted so that light could be directed as her mistress might wish. Smoke from the candle within passes up through the girl's sleeve and on into the hollow body, so no soot would dirty the room. The lamp holder can store water, dissolving soot from the smoke. Now it is in the collection of the Museum of Hebei Province (héběi 河北), China.


changxingongdengThe delicate founded gold-plating Gilt Bronze Human-shaped Lamp is not only a utility ware, but also an excellent work of the bronze art in the Han Dynasty. The integrated sculpture, vivid and aesthetic beauty work still glitters up to now, displaying the highly advanced alloy smelting technology and casting processing, and receives prevalent praise as a peak work of China craftwork and an important representative work of folk arts. 


长信宫灯

      中国古代的灯具品种繁多,而在这之中,油灯则是用来在夜间照明的一种器具。汉代的长信宫灯则是这之中最精美的一件珍品。

      长信宫灯是铜质的灯具,表面通体鎏金。根据考证,此灯是汉景帝(公元前156~公元前140年在位)的母亲皇太后窦氏的御用之物。灯的结构设计巧妙,整体形象为一跪坐的宫女,双手执灯。宫女身体中空,头部和右臂可以拆卸。灯座、灯盘和灯罩也能拆卸组合,圆形灯盘可以转动,两块瓦状罩板开合自如,因而可以任意调节灯光照射的方向和亮度的强弱。灯点燃后,灯烟直接通过宫女的手臂进入体中,从而达到保持室内空气清洁的效果。灯座可以盛水,这使吸入宫女体内的烟尘溶于水中。
      表面鎏金赋予了长信宫灯远远高于日常用品的新意义,使其成为了汉代青铜器中的杰作。完整的雕像,生动而又雅致的美直至现在仍然熠熠生辉,展示着它高超的合金熔炼技巧及完美的铸造工艺。长信宫灯已经成为中国工艺品在全球赢得盛誉的巅峰之作。
      changxingongdeng长信宫灯一改以往青铜器皿的神秘厚重,整个造型及装饰风格都显得舒展自如、轻巧华丽,是一件既实用、又美观的灯具珍品。堪称“中华第一灯”。 采取分别铸造,然后合成一体的方法。考古学和冶金史的研究专家一致公认,此灯设计之精巧,制作工艺水平之高,在汉代宫灯中首屈一指。
     
      释名
     
长信宫灯是汉代青铜鎏金灯具之一,公元前172年铸造。中华人民共和国国家一级文物。由考古学工作者白荣金在1968年对满城汉墓中窦绾墓(今河北省保定市满城县西南约1.5公里的山崖上)的发掘作业中发现。现藏于中华人民共和国石家庄市河北省历史博物馆“满城汉墓”展区。
      考古学家在宫灯灯身上辨识出“阳信家”的铭文,周长山等部分学者据此推测长信宫灯原属汉代阳信夷侯刘揭(前179年受封为侯)家中所有,《史记》记载刘揭之子刘中意因参与“七国之乱”而遭到废黜,封国与家财收为国有,长信宫灯被送入皇太后窦漪的宫殿“长信宫”浴府使用。故又增加了“长信宫”字样的铭文以示宫灯易主。
      窦绾与窦漪有亲戚关系,推测长信宫灯由窦漪送给窦绾,窦绾所以死后宫灯便随她葬入墓内。灯上还有“长信尚浴”字样,故发掘出土后被命名为“长信宫灯”。此外学者赵化成等认为依照汉代“阳信家”青铜器的出土记录,包括长信宫灯在内的大量“阳信家”铜器均属于汉武帝之姊平阳长公主(阳信长公主),故长信宫灯最早属于哪位皇室成员尚没有确实定论。

 

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