Jar with animal-mask handles

Historical period(s)
Eastern Han dynasty, 25-220
Stoneware with wood-ash glaze
H x W x D: 20.2 x 26.6 x 25.2 cm (7 15/16 x 10 1/2 x 9 15/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — funds provided by the Friends of Asian Arts
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


China, Eastern Han dynasty (25 - 220), stoneware
Provenance research underway.

This robust jar is representative of a type of high-temperature ceramic ware inspired by bronze shapes. The molded animal masks on the two raised handles underscore the jar's relationship to bronze vessel forms made for burial in the tombs of the elite.
The jar, holding offerings for the afterlife, was also buried in a tomb, but it belongs to a tradition of sturdy storage containers and probably also saw ordinary household use.

Published References
  • H. W. Siegel, Helen D. Ling. Early Chinese Potteries and Porcelains of the Shang, Chou, Chin, Han Dynasties: Collection of the Late J.E. Melchior. Shanghai. cat. 4.29.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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