LARGE Chinese Han Dynasty Burnished Pottery Cocoon Jar
This superbly-shaped pottery jar was made over 2,000 years ago during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 8). The shape, named after its similarity to the silkworm cocoon, evolved during the late Warring States period (475 - 221 BC) and then generally died out by the middle of the Western Han.
This is an exceptionally large example, much rarer than the many known smaller versions. It has a burnished surface making it very smooth to the touch. For its large size it is unusually fine and thinly-potted. There are twelve lightly incised bands of double lines that surround the body vertically as well as decorative ridges around the neck and base. The surface colour varies in places, not only from long burial, but also from uneven conditions in the kiln during manufacture. In places are very faint traces of pigment and a decorative pattern.
Height 37 cm (14.5 inches), length 43.5 cm (17 inches). There is some surface wear and a section to the lower body has been broken out and re-stuck, but when considering its considerable age and size, condition really is very good.
For reference we show an almost identical example of similar size from the excellent book "Spirit of Han" (ISBN 981 00 2961-6), a book any collector of Han Dynasty ceramics really must have.
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