Large Chinese Neolithic Pottery Tripod - Qijia Culture
This very rare pottery tripod was made some 4,000 years ago. Although similar vessels were made by various Chinese Neolithic cultures, we believe this particular example to have been made by potters of the Qijia Culture (c. 2050 - 1700 BC). The form is of a cooking vessel and the three wide udder-shaped legs allow it to be stood in a fire with as much heat as possible being transmitted to the contents inside the vessel. Such tripods are made from quite a coarse unrefined clay, usually very low-fired, making them particularly fragile and vulnerable to damage; very few intact examples survive. This particular example is more highly-fired than most so has survived remarkably well.
The vessel has two wide loop handles on opposing sides of the shoulder. The rim has been decorated by repeatedly being notched. The surface has been scored all over with thin parallel lines. The surface colour of the pottery varies due to uneven conditions in the Neolithic kiln during manufacture.
This is an unusually large example of its type with a maximum diameter of 22.5 cm (8.75 inches), height 21 cm (8.25 inches). Repairs to something of this size and type should of course reasonably be expected. There is a chip to the inner rim and to the end of one foot. Overall, a very rare large example of its type in good presentable condition that would be a real asset to any collection of Chinese Neolithic pottery.
For information: this rare vessel has for many years been in our own private collection of Chinese Neolithic pottery and not previously offer for sale. It is available for inspection at our Brighton gallery.
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