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Between and Mortarboard


UMMA Object Specific Fields






Query builder

Duck

Accession Number
1991/2.17

Title
Duck

Artist(s)
Chinese

Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
Early 7th century

Medium & Support
earthenware with glaze

Dimensions
3 1/8 in x 2 11/16 in x 1 9/16 in (7.94 cm x 6.83 cm x 3.97 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Willard A. and Marybelle Bouchard Hanna

Subject matter

An earthenware straw-colored glazed mingqi  (明器)("bright object") figure of a duck of the Sui dynasty (581-617).

Since the Qin dynasty (221 - 206 BCE), ceramic figures have been used to replace human sacrifice in burial practices as mingqi as a way to provide for the deceased.  Mingqi could include houses, towers, gates, granaries, livestock pens, chicken coops, wells, cooking stoves, storage vessels, dishes, incense burners, and lamps.  Figures could include horses, dogs, anthropomorphic animals and people, such as officials, guardians, servants, and entertainers. By the Han dynasty, they also included representations of common people engaged in the activities that consumed their daily lives, such a cooking. The tombs in southern provinces of Sichuan and Shaanxi have revealed a vast array of figures in playful and humorous poses.  As grave goods, these mingqi included everything one would need to ensure a comfortable transition into the afterlife. The number of ceramic mingqi items in a tomb could reach numbers of a few to several hundred objects.

Physical Description
A small earthenware figure of a duck standing on two feet with head curved down, covered in a straw-colored glaze.

Primary Object Classification
Ceramic

Primary Object Type
funerary sculpture

Additional Object Classification(s)
Ceramic

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
birds (motifs)
ceramic (material)
ducks (birds)
earthenware
figures (representations)
grave goods

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved