AGE: – Han Dynasty 206 BC – 220AD
CONSTRUCTION: – Earthenware
DESCRIPTION: – Chinese Mingqi Han Dynasty Miniature Granary
HEIGHT: – 38cm
BODY CIRCUMFERENCE:– 65cm
WEIGHT:– 3.45 kg.
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A Chinese Mingqi Han Dynasty Miniature Granary tomb object made for burial purposes to accompany the departed into the heavenly realm.
This miniature granary was a popular funerary object during the Han Dynasty made to represent a miniature working granary that the deceased would have been familiar with whilst still living. It was believed that burying an object such as this with the deceased ensured that he would continue to enjoy the fruits of his labor in the afterlife.
Mingqi was sanctioned by Confucianism who said “He who made Mingqi knew the principle underlying the mourning rites”. So, burying objects with the departed was considered more a philosophical belief rather than a religious view of death.
In his teaching Confucius believed that if the deceased was completely forgotten it would show a lack of respect, care and love for him/her. Yet if the deceased was treated as though they were still living that would show a lack of wisdom. A middle way regarding death was always the goal.
This way of thinking heralded in a new kind of art form during the Han Dynasty which encompassed a variety of utilitarian and ornamental objects made specifically for burial purposes.