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Between and Mortarboard


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Jar

Accession Number
1993/1.97.1-2

Title
Jar

Artist(s)
Chinese

Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
206 BCE-25 CE

Medium & Support
stoneware with ash glaze

Dimensions
10 11/16 in x 12 15/16 in x 12 15/16 in (27.2 cm x 32.8 cm x 32.8 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Domino's Pizza, Inc.

Label copy
At first the animal motif on this jar might be hard to find, but a close look at the handles reveals that they are stamped with a bovine face and have projecting upright “horns.” The animal mask motif is ubiquitous in Han art as a decorative element, but it has much older origins. Its ultimate source is the fierce and mysterious taotie / t’ao-t’ieh animal mask found on ritual bronzes of the Shang dynasty, in the fifteenth through eleventh centuries B.C.E.
Maribeth Graybill, Senior Curator of Asian Art
Exhibited in "Flora and Fauna in Chinese Art," April 6, 2002 - December 1, 2002.

Subject matter
This brown stoneware guan (罐, storage jar) imitates the shape and green color of bronze forms. The two lug handles were probably used to tie down and secure the lid. These types of jars were made in abundance as funerary storage vessels to supply for the afterlife and have been found in the tombs of both middle and elite classes of Han citizens. 

At first the animal motif on this jar might be hard to find, but a close look at the handles reveals that they are stamped with a bovine face and have projecting upright “horns.” The animal mask motif is ubiquitous in Han art as a decorative element, but it has much older origins. Its ultimate source is the fierce and mysterious taotie / t’ao-t’ieh animal mask found on ritual bronzes of the Shang dynasty, in the fifteenth through eleventh centuries B.C.E.

Physical Description
This is a brown stoneware jar on a flat base, with bulbous body, narrow mouth, and wide straight rim. Two animal masks (tao tie) as lug handles are on opposing shoulders. The jar is topped with a domed cap lid with round, flat finial. The upper half is covered in a gray- green ash glaze.

Primary Object Classification
Ceramic

Primary Object Type
jar

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
ash glaze
ceramic (material)
grave goods
jar
jars
stoneware (pottery)

& Author Notes

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