Model of a hulling mill

Accession Number

Model of a hulling mill


Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
25 CE-220 CE

Medium & Support
earthenware with glaze

7 1/16 in x 10 7/16 in x 6 9/16 in (18 cm x 26.5 cm x 16.6 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Domino's Pizza, Inc.

Subject matter
This is a foot-operated hulling mill that replaced the earlier Hand-operated mills during the Han dynasty. 

By the Western Han dynasty, basic household bowls, plates, basins, jars, and the like were produced in great quantity, not only for use in daily life but also specifically for tombs as mingqi (明器, literally "bright objects") as a way to provide for the deceased. As these mingqi included everything one would need during the afterlife, 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, and lamps; they were also figures such as horses, dogs, anthropomorphic animals, officials, guardians, servants, and entertainers. The number of ceramic mingqi items in a tomb could reach numbers of a few to several hundred objects.

Physical Description
This model of a hulling mill consists of a treadle operated tilted pole connecting to a hammer that crushes the grain, with an operator and storage bins. It sits below a four-posted one-bay structure with a hipped roof with ridge lines, imitating contemporary tiled roofs. The model is covered in a green lead glaze with iridescence and calcification.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
funerary sculpture

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)
figures (representations)
grave goods
lead glaze

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted

On display

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