Chinese Western Han Dynasty Glazed Stoneware Jar with Mask Handles (206 BC - AD 8)
This stoneware jar, of the type often referred to as "proto-porcelain" dates to the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 8). The upper body is coated with a thin olive-green ash glaze whilst the unglazed lower body has fired to a dark reddish-brown. On opposing sides are two sturdy and elaborate handles each decorated with a mask pattern. The jar stands on three integral short rectangular feet.
Diameter 27 cm (10.5 inches), height 17.5 cm (6.75 inches). As is invariably the case with such wares, the thin glaze has worn in places. One, possibly both handles have been broken and re-stuck. Overall, a rare example in good presentable condition.
For reference we show an almost identical example from the fine book "A Journey Into China's Antiquity, Volume Two" (ISBN 7-5054-0483-0), a series of books we highly recommend.
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