Ear CupArtist(s)ChineseArtist NationalityChinese (culture or style)Object Creation Date25-220 CEMedium & Supportearthenware with glazeDimensions
1 3/8 in x 4 5/8 in x 3 11/16 in (3.49 cm x 11.75 cm x 9.37 cm)Credit LineMuseum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection FundSubject 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.
Ear cups such as this would be made for "wine" or ale drinking. Cups of this form were made in a variety of materials, and in this case were probably made in ceramic as a less expensive alternative to lacquer. Physical Description
A red earthenware ear cup (erbei
二杯) with an ovoid body with two opposing wing-like handles applied to the rim. It was covered in a green lead glaze with iridescence and calcification.Primary Object Classification Ceramic Primary Object TypecupCollection AreaAsianRights
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ceramics (object genre)
cups (drinking vessels)