Accession Number



Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
25 -220

Medium & Support
earthenware with lead glaze

5 7/16 in x 5 3/8 in x 5 3/8 in (13.8 cm x 13.7 cm x 13.7 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of F. Karel Wiest

Subject matter
By the Western Han dynasty, basic household bowls, plates, basins, jars, etc. were produced in great quantity, not only for use in daily life, but also specifically for tombs as mingqi (明器), literally "bright objects", or grave goods, as a way to provide for the deceased. These mingqi included everything one would need during the afterlife, naturally, these objects reflected daily life during the Han. Mingqi could include houses, towers, gates, granaries, livestock pens, chicken coops, wells, cooking stoves, storage vessels, dishes, incense burners, lamps and figures such as horses, dogs, anthropomorphic animals, and people such as officials, guardians, servants and entertainers, and more. The number of ceramic mingqi items in a tomb could reach numbers of a few to several hundred objects. Bowls or basins such as this would have been widely used by almost every stratum of society.

Physical Description
Red earthenware, flat bottomed bowl with rounded sides and thick rim, molded with wave pattern to exterior wall, covered in amber and green lead glaze, with iridescence and calcification.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

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bowls (vessels)
ceramic (material)
ceramics (object genre)
dishes (vessels)
grave goods
lead glaze

5 Related Resources

Before 1492
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Cabinet F: Shelf 3
(Part of: Albertine Monroe-Brown Study-Storage Gallery)
(Part of: Tremel Ceramic Production Collection)
W21 Mueggler - ANTHRCUL 337 - Death, Dying, Afterlife
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted

On display

UMMA Gallery Location ➜ AMH, 2nd floor ➜ 205 (Albertine Monroe-Brown Study-Storage Gallery) ➜ Cabinet F ➜ Shelf 3