Fine Chinese Eastern Han Dynasty Amber-Glazed Hill Jar with Oxford TL Test (AD 25 - 220)
This type of covered tripod vessel is known as a "hill jar". This is a truly exceptional example and was made during the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25 - 220). It is quite "heavily-potted" and made from a red pottery that has been coated in a thick amber glaze, the colour of which varies in places. The cover depicts a mountain theme and includes various animals including an archer riding on horseback. The outer wall of the vessel is superbly decorated with outstanding definition, the frieze including tigers, birds, human figures, amongst others. The vessel stands on three feet in the form of bears. The drips of glaze on the mountain tops of the cover and around the rim of the vessel show both parts were fired upside down, in places there being marks in the glaze where the parts were supported in the kiln by small spacers.
Diameter 21 cm (8.25 inches), height 23 cm (9 inches). Condition is very good. As can be seen, the mountain "peak" in the centre of the cover has been broken off and re-stuck. Other minor repairs are possible but not obvious. It is available to view at our gallery.
As with many of our finer items, we have had this jar tested by Oxford Authentications, the only testers of ancient pottery accepted by all major dealers, auction rooms and museums worldwide, with a result of a date of manufacture of "between 1,500 and 2,400 years ago". We show also the Thermoluminescence Analysis Report that will accompany this jar
For information: similar, albeit inferior, examples are illustrated in the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society book, "Spirit of Han". An almost identical example to ours is also currently on display at the V&A museum in London, although we are of the opinion that ours is the superior example.
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