Jar

Jar said to come from Togariishi, Nagano-ken.

Slightly flaring beaker shape rounding to flat base; a sculptural projection with holes which could fit fingers on plain roll rim. Hand-built, probably coil-made. Lightweight, medium thickness. Extensive repair; the inside shows clearly that the piece was reassembled from many pieces.

Clay: low-fired, red, soft and coarse; darker and grayer toward top, some blackened areas. Heavily tempered, white fleck inclusions (not mica).

Glaze: none.

Decoration: Applied ridges around vessel below rim and continuing either straight down or diagonally with hooked ends, grooved and notched with stick or other tool in various patterns (e.g. herringbone). Entire remaining surface is divided in abstract pattern panels, geometric straight-sided and diagonal forms combined with curved lines and some scrolls. Within the panels defined by parallel lines there is vertical, diagonal or horizontal parallel hatching or a combination. The highly decorative coiling sculptural projection on rim has holes which could make it functional as handle. Plain and well-smoothed inside.

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Maker(s)
Artist: Jomon culture (ca. 10,500–ca. 300 BCE)
Historical period(s)
Jomon period, ca. 3000-2500 BCE
Medium
Unglazed earthenware
Dimensions
H x W x D: 50.2 x 31.7 x 31.7 cm (19 3/4 x 12 1/2 x 12 1/2 in)
Geography
Japan, Nagano prefecture, Togariishi site
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1974.5
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Jar

Keywords
earthenware, Japan, Jomon Period (ca. 10,500 - 400 BCE)
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Description

Jar said to come from Togariishi, Nagano-ken.

Slightly flaring beaker shape rounding to flat base; a sculptural projection with holes which could fit fingers on plain roll rim. Hand-built, probably coil-made. Lightweight, medium thickness. Extensive repair; the inside shows clearly that the piece was reassembled from many pieces.

Clay: low-fired, red, soft and coarse; darker and grayer toward top, some blackened areas. Heavily tempered, white fleck inclusions (not mica).

Glaze: none.

Decoration: Applied ridges around vessel below rim and continuing either straight down or diagonally with hooked ends, grooved and notched with stick or other tool in various patterns (e.g. herringbone). Entire remaining surface is divided in abstract pattern panels, geometric straight-sided and diagonal forms combined with curved lines and some scrolls. Within the panels defined by parallel lines there is vertical, diagonal or horizontal parallel hatching or a combination. The highly decorative coiling sculptural projection on rim has holes which could make it functional as handle. Plain and well-smoothed inside.

Label

Projecting sculptural forms on the rim and ornate combinations of incised and relief designs on the body characterize jars made during the Middle Jomon period, one of the five periods of development of the Japanese Neolithic culture known as Jomon. Jomon ("cord-marked") pottery gives its name to the culture.

While similarities according to site, region and period can be observed, no two Jomon pots are absolutely identical. This jar is said to have come from the Togariishi site in mountainous Nagano prefecture, an area that was heavily settled during the Middle Jomon period.

Published References
  • Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 42.
  • Julia Murray. A Decade of Discovery: Selected Acquisitions 1970-1980. Exh. cat. Washington, 1979. cat. 62, pp. 84-85.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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