Accession Number



Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
earthenware with glaze

13 1/8 in x 14 3/16 in x 6 7/8 in (33.34 cm x 36.04 cm x 17.46 cm)

Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by the Friends of the Museum of Art

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.   

Storehouses such as this were symbolically storing grain for the deceased's afterlife. However, today these architectural models provide insight as to what architecture looked like and how buildings were constructed during the Han Dynasty. 

Physical Description
A red, four-sided rectangular earthenware structure in the form of a three-bay storehouse with a peaked roof and ridgeline. Post and lintel details from wooden architecture, with double open doors, on four bear-shaped stilts. The model is covered with a green lead glaze, with iridescence and calcification. 

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
architectural models
ceramic (material)
grave goods
lead glaze

4 Related Resources

Before 1492
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Cabinet G: Shelf 1
(Part of: Albertine Monroe-Brown Study-Storage Gallery)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted

On display

UMMA Gallery Location ➜ AMH, 2nd floor ➜ 205 (Albertine Monroe-Brown Study-Storage Gallery) ➜ Cabinet G ➜ Shelf 1