Chinese Collection

Storage Jar
Storage Jar

Storage Jar

China, Gansu province, Yangshao culture
Neolithic period, Banshan phase (c. 2600–2300 B.C.)
c. 2500 B.C.
Low-fired earthenware painted with iron oxide and manganese pigments
H. 14 in. (35.6 cm); Diam. 14 3/4 in. (37.5 cm)
AG 1987.01
Large storage jars, painted with a free hand in imaginative geometric designs, are commonly found in Neolithic tombs in Gansu province, located in west China.
Storage Jar
Storage Jar

Storage Jar

China
Neolithic period, Machang phase (c. 7000–2000 B.C.)
c. 2200 B.C.
Low-fired clay with iron oxide and manganese pigments
H. 15 in. (38.1 cm); Diam. 16 in. (40.7 cm)
AP 1985.16
Large storage jars, painted with a free hand in imaginative geometric designs, are commonly found in Neolithic tombs in Gansu province, located in west China.
Nao Bell
Nao Bell

Nao Bell

China, possibly Hunan province
Western Zhou dynasty (c. 1046–771 B.C.)
c. 10th century B.C.
Bronze
19 x 13 1/2 x 10 in. (48.3 x 34.3 x 25.4 cm)
AP 1995.03
This impressive, heavily cast nao bell is ornamented on each side with eighteen conical studs arranged in three rows, separated by bands of scrolling thunder pattern (leiwen) decoration, and surrounded by borders of fine thread-relief.
Jar with Stamped Decoration
Jar with Stamped Decoration

Jar with Stamped Decoration

China, probably Jiangxi province
Eastern Zhou dynasty (770–221 B.C.)
7th–4th century B.C.
High-fired earthenware
H. 10 3/8 in. (26.4 cm); Diam. 15 3/4 in. (40 cm)
AP 1996.06
The ceramics of the early first millennium B.C. from Jiangxi province in central China are characterized by stamped or impressed geometric designs on high-fired earthenwares, predominantly on vessels of simple forms with high shoulders, short necks, and broad mouths.
Jar with Ribbed Decoration
Jar with Ribbed Decoration

Jar with Ribbed Decoration

China, probably Zhejiang province
Warring States period (475–221 B.C.)
4th century B.C.
Stoneware with yellowish green glaze
H. 9 5/8 in. (24.5 cm); Diam.14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
AP 1995.08
From the end of the Warring States period through the Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 220), glazed stoneware vessels were routinely produced in northern Zhejiang and southern Jiangsu provinces to serve as funerary storage jars.
Horse and Rider
Horse and Rider

Horse and Rider

China, probably Shaanxi province
Western Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 9)
2nd–1st century B.C.
Earthenware with painted polychrome decoration
22 5/8 x 21 1/2 x 6 5/8 in. (57.5 x 54.6 x 16.8 cm)
AP 1994.07
Tombs of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D.. 220) were typically furnished with model figures and other objects believed to be necessary for a safe journey to the afterlife.
Cocoon-Shaped Jar with Cloud-Scroll Design
Cocoon-Shaped Jar with Cloud-Scroll Design

Cocoon-Shaped Jar with Cloud-Scroll Design

China, possibly Luoyang, Henan province
Western Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 9)
late 2nd or early 1st century B.C.
Earthenware with painted polychrome decoration
11 1/2 x 13 1/8 x 9 1/4 in. (29.2 x 33.3 x 23.5 cm)
AP 1995.02
This handsome jar would have served as a mortuary object (mingqi), placed in a tomb as a substitute for the more valuable bronze and lacquer vessels used in daily life.
Standing Dog
Standing Dog

Standing Dog

China
Eastern Han dynasty (A.D. 25–220)
c. 1st century A.D.
Earthenware with lead-fluxed glaze
12 1/4 x 13 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. (31.1 x 34.3 x 14 cm)
AP 1995.01
During the Eastern Han dynasty, sculptors produced images of various dog types—among them mastiffs and chows—that were then included with the human and other animal figures placed in tombs. Dogs were generally fashioned standing on all fours or in recumbent attitudes.
Mirror with Animals and Figure
Mirror with Animals and Figure

Mirror with Animals and Figure

China
Eastern Han dynasty (A.D. 25–220)
c. A.D. 100
Cast bronze
6 1/2 in. diameter (16.5 cm diameter)
AP 1984.02
In ancient China, from at least the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1100 B.C.), mirrors served both as functional articles of daily life and as sacred objects possessing powers of their own. By the fourth century B.C., the custom had developed of placing mirrors in tombs.
Jar in the Shape of a Stupa
Jar in the Shape of a Stupa

Jar in the Shape of a Stupa

China, Shaanxi, Shandong, or Henan province
Northern Qi period or Sui dynasty (550–577/581–618)
late 6th or early 7th century
Earthenware with traces of painted polychrome pigment
19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm)
AP 1994.06 a,b,c
This unusual pottery jar illustrates the early assimilation of Buddhist motifs to the decoration of Chinese mortuary objects.
Amphora-Shaped Vase
Amphora-Shaped Vase

Amphora-Shaped Vase

China, probably Hebei province
Tang dynasty (618–907)
7th or 8th century A.D.
Stoneware with transparent glaze
H. 14 7/8 in. (37.8 cm); Diam. 7 5/8 in. (19.4 cm)
AP 1969.16
The amphora shape of this vase, modeled after Hellenistic prototypes, has been translated into Chinese idiom by the use of a single color glaze and the substitution of dragon handles for the ordinary loop variety.
Court Lady
Court Lady

Court Lady

China, probably Shaanxi province
Tang dynasty (618–907)
first half of the 8th century
Gray earthenware with painted polychrome decoration
16 5/16 x 7 1/16 x 6 3/8 in. (41.5 x 18 x 16.2 cm)
AP 2001.01
One of the most engaging and distinctive groups of Tang funerary sculpture is the one representing ladies of the court. This animated and charming example stands in a gracefully swayed pose, her petite hands held in a conversational gesture in front of her swelling form.
Earth Spirit
Earth Spirit

Earth Spirit

China, probably Shaanxi province
Tang dynasty (618–907)
first half of the 8th century
Gray earthenware with painted polychrome decoration
31 1/8 x 7 9/16 x 11 1/4 in. (79.1 x 19.2 x 28.5 cm)
AP 2001.02
The inclusion of fantastic animal guardians as part of the retinue of tomb figures began in the Northern Wei dynasty (A.D. 386–534) and continued into the Tang dynasty.
Ewer with a Short Spout
Ewer with a Short Spout

Ewer with a Short Spout

China
Tang dynasty (618–907)
8th or 9th century
Stoneware with mottled golden brown glaze
H. 7 1/2 in. (19 cm); Diam. 6 5/8 in. (19 cm)
AG 1973.03
This ewer is distinguished by its spherical shape and lustrous brown glaze, which falls short of the base in a sweeping curve, revealing its light buff body. The handle terminates at the rim in a stylized, natural form.
Bodhisattva Torso
Bodhisattva Torso

Bodhisattva Torso

China, probably Shanxi province
Tang dynasty (618–907)
c. 775–800
Stone, traces of gesso and pigment
39 x 12 15/16 x 8 in. (99 x 32.8 x 20.3 cm)
AP 1987.01
The evolution of Chinese Buddhist sculpture from archaic and columnar to fleshy and sensuous reached its culmination in the Tang dynasty, by which time Chinese Buddhist sculpture in the round shows a masterful adaptation of foreign Indian style to indigenous traditions.
Melon-Shaped Ewer
Melon-Shaped Ewer

Melon-Shaped Ewer

China
Song dynasty (960–1279)
11th or 12th century
Porcelain with pale greenish blue glaze (Qingbai ware)
H. 6 in. (15.2 cm); Diam. 5 7/8 in. (14.9 cm)
AG 1976.01
Qingbai ware, prized for its elegant restraint, was produced near the great ceramic center of Jingdezhen in Jiangxi province, in south China. These delicate porcelains are distinguished by a clear, bluish white glaze over incised, combed, or molded decoration.

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