Large Chinese Song / Yuan Dynasty Pottery Buddhist Zodiac Jarï¿½
This rare and interesting pottery jar was made during the Song Dynasty (AD 960 - 1279), or possibly the Yuan Dynasty (AD 1279 - 1368) and has been been excavated from a Buddhist site in Yunnan province.
It is of a very elegant form and of very fine quality for its type. The curved cover sitting flush with the round body that stands on an integral pedestal. Working from the top downwards, the cover has delicate incised lotus leaf patterns around the finial and a scrolling pattern around its edge, although this is partly obscured by the burial soil that still adheres to the surface. Around the top of the jar are four moulded and applied vajra (Buddhist sceptres) between which is a band of repeated impressed "S" patterns. Around the shoulder are five impressed human figures, below each of which are three small circles with central points. Around the waist of the jar is a impressed band below which are impressed, particularly clearly, the twelve zodiac animals. Again there is a band of impressed "S" pattern, then a band of lotus leaves and finally yet another band of the "S" pattern around the base. Although there is still much burial soil adhering to the surface, it is clear that the undecorated parts of the surface have been burnished to a smooth finish. There are traces of red pigment on the underside of the cover.
Height 32 cm (12.5 inches). There is an area of repair to the mouth of the jar and possibly the cover has also been repaired. There are minor chips to the edge of the base. Notwithstanding these minor faults, this is a fine and very rare jar in good presentable condition.
This jar is from our own collection of Buddhist vessels from Yunnan that we have collected over several years and not previously offered for sale.
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