Large Chinese Song / Yuan Dynasty Incised Pottery Jar with Buddhist Inscription
This rare pottery jar was made in the 12th / 13th century 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 made from a buff-coloured pottery and is of globular form standing on an integral foot. The outer surface of the jar has been decorated with four overlapping incised lotus leaf panels, within each is an incised tree design filled in with pale green pigment. The cover is decorated with a pie-crust band and the same green pigment applied to its top. Around the waist, and toward the foot of the jar, as well as under the cover, are bands of Sanskrit-type characters in red pigment, these most likely being Buddhist prayers or incantations.
Within the jar are fine flakes of corroded copper or bronze, and at least one fleck of gold leaf (we do not know what was originally contained within this jar, but they are sometimes referred to as "offering" jars). There are also faint traces of the same red Sanskrit-type characters on the inner base of the jar.
Height 29.5 cm (11.5 inches), diameter 24.5 cm (9.5 inches). Condition is very good; there is a chip to the outer edge of the foot, however, both cover and jar are free from any restoration or repair.
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