AGE: – Han Dynasty 206BC – 220 AD
CONSTRUCTION: – Earthenware
DESCRIPTION: – Chinese Han Dynasty Mingqi Earthenware Vessel
HEIGHT: – 49cm
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This large grayish brown Chinese Han Dynasty Mingqi Earthenware Vessel is thickly potted and more than likely made for holding offerings intended for burial purposes.
Taotie masks are a traditional motif seen on many Chinese ceramics, pottery, bronzes and other art forms from the 1st millennium BC., up until present times. The taotie masks on this vessel are in relief and decorate two sides of the top tier of the vessel, with two mythological creatures decorating the alternate sides.
Unfortunately this vessel has been exposed to water, possibly in the funerary chamber and the painted decoration is blurred. it is still an impressive object dating to the Han Dynasty with a fantastic shape. A vessel such as this would have required a great deal of skill by the potter in its creation.
The pigments of blue, red, white and yellow indicate that this vessel was a very decorative item and destined for the burial chamber of a wealthy or important person. The cold painted colours on the lower two sections of the body indicate that dragons decorated the body.
Some ancient burial chambers were dry whilst others were wet, depending on their location. One ring under the taotie mask was broken on one side in transit and can be repaired easily.
This is one of a pair we acquired, the other has one of the mythological creature missing.