From our Early Chinese Collection, a large Machang Phase jar from the Majiayao Culture (2300 - 2000 BC), originating from what is now Gansu province, China. Of well-known and documented form, this fascinating vessel is approximately 4,000 years old and comes with an Oxford TL test. Larger and better potted than is usually found, it is painted with anthropomorphic designs in purplish-black mineral pigments typical of these wares. The meaning of these designs is still the subject of scholarly debate, as such pieces were produced prior to the creation of any written language in China, so there are no historical records contemporaneous with their production explaining the significance of the design. (For a slightly smaller but comparable piece, see He Li, The New Standard Guide, p 60, item 8. We have attached a photo of that piece for comparison.)
Size and Condition: There is a small sealed hairline approximately 1.5 inches at the neck, and some random scuffing that is typical for these pieces. Overall very fine condition, a superb example. 16” high (40.6 cm) x 14” wide across the lug handles (35.6 cm).