Fine & Rare Chinese Song / Yuan Dynasty Buddhist Sanskrit Jar
This very rare jar was made during the Song Dynasty (AD 960 - 1279) or possibly the Yuan Dynasty (AD 1279 - 1368) and has been excavated from a Buddhist site in Yunnan province, then ,a particularly isolated part of China. Whilst the clay was still soft, prior to firing, the entire outer surface of this jar was deeply incised with characters of a Sanskrit-type script, the Buddhist script of that area at the time. Unlike some other examples where these characters were incised in layers of bands surrounding the jar, on this jar the characters are in a long line that spirals down the surface of the jar. A space was left toward the lower body where there is also a line of incised Chinese characters, presumably executed by a different hand as the incising is more shallow that the other characters. We have not had the text translated but it undoubtedly relates to Buddhist scriptures or prayers.
Close inspection of the cover shows that it also has been decorated, with a lightly incised geometric pattern. There is also an incised mark to the base of the jar, almost "carelessly" drawn, but clearly intentional, that may be the mark of the potter.
Height 25.5 cm (10 inches). There is some surface wear but overall this jar is in fine condition with no sign of any restoration or repair.
Similar vessels first appeared on the market several years ago but were soon snapped up by eager collectors with only a few still remaining available for sale from sellers such as ourselves who purchased those that we could at the time. This jar has been in our own private collection of Yunnan Buddhist vessels for many years and has not previously been offered for sale.
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