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Between and Mortarboard

UMMA Object Specific Fields

Query builder

Model of a pigpen

Accession Number

Model of a pigpen


Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
earthenware with glaze

3 9/16 in x 10 in x 7 7/8 in (9 cm x 25.4 cm x 20 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Domino's Pizza, Inc.

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. A tomb could contain anywhere from a few, to several hundred ceramic mingqi items.

During the Western Han, it was common for northern potters to create pigsties as mingqi, by the Eastern Han, a variety of domesticated livestock in their pens could be found in tombs. 

Physical Description
This red earthenware model of a pigpen is square, contains one pig at a feeding trough, and has a peaked roof shed to the side. The model is covered in a green lead glaze.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
funerary sculpture

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
animal housing (farm structures)
architectural models
ceramic (material)
ceramics (object genre)
grave goods
lead glaze

& Author Notes

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