A Small Stoneware Jar and Cover with Handle

Han dynasty (206 BC – AD 220)
Reference #: PE1365

Height: 7 ¾ inches (19.7 cm.)
Diameter of mouth: 3 ¾ inches (9.5 cm.)

The jar of truncated, oval form, tapering squarely at top to the short, cylindrical neck, applied on one side with flat, s-shape handle fashioned at top to resemble an animal’s head, raised on a short foot with recessed base. Decorated in bands around the upper body with impressed zigzag bands and chevron marks within double line borders, the handle with a freely carved design of crossing lines. The low-domed cover topped by a flattened, bud-form knop and impressed with a band of similar chevrons. The jar and the cover both sprayed from above with an ash glaze and fired separately.

Made of a high-fired stoneware, this small jar and cover follows in the tradition of large, ash-glazed vessels produced during the Warring States period. Dusted from above with the ash glaze, the jar turns a darker brown on the lower portion where the unglazed body is revealed. The regular, wavy lines and stamped decoration also continue in this tradition, whereas the freely-drawn hatching on the handle appears on other small Han dynasty stonewares. While other stonewares of the period mimicked bronze shapes, the present vessel does not appear to be based on a metal form. Perhaps used for drinking water or another liquid, the jar is completely functional, with a comfortable handle and easily maneuverable thumb notch.

The result of the Oxford thermoluminescence test no. P106j85 is consistent with the dating of this lot.

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