From our Early Chinese Collection, an excellent neolithic tripod (Li) pottery vessel from the Xiajiadian Culture of either Inner Mongolia or Liaoning Province, circa 2500-1500 BC. These strange, other-worldly looking vessels belie their true age, which is an astonishing 3500 to 4500 years old. Constructed of a buff colored earthenware with partially hollowed-out udder-shaped legs, it has a slender and well-burnished body that flares out to a wide rim. This particular piece has signs of root growth impressions and chalky calcified deposits, both indicia of age and burial.
There are identical pieces published in the secondary literature. See Dawn of the Yellow Earth, Ancient Chinese Ceramics of the Meiyintang Collection, by Regina Krahl, page 94, item 40, and also Yuegutang: A Collection of Chinese Ceramics in Berlin, page 40, item 22. We have attached a photo of the piece from the Yuegutang catalog for comparison.
Size and Condition: 9 1/4 inches tall, 6 1/2 inches wide. While most of these pieces are unearthed with damage and have been repaired or restored to some degree, this is one of those miraculous rarities that has survived unscathed. However, ironically, after its journey of several thousand years to get to the present day, we carelessly managed to get a small square of gummy residue from an overly sticky scotch tape, stuck on the vessel from when we first packed it. We're quite sure this can be removed with the proper solvent and a q-tip, maybe even simple soap and water will do the trick. But given the age of the piece and our inexperience at tinkering with things in this way, we would rather just leave it in situ, as it does not detract from the piece. The last picture shows this, and we mention it just for accuracy and completeness: It's obvious from the photo that this is from a piece of scotch tape. But we would rather leave this to the buyer to remove should you want to.