Rare Chinese Han Dynasty Stoneware Bottle
This rare and unusually-shaped bottle was made during the Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 220). This type of ware is quite different from many other Han dynasty wares and comes from southern China, most likely Guangdong province. Often such wares are coated in an ash glaze in various degrees of thickness. The darker patches on this particular vessel do appear to be as a result of a very thin layer of ash glaze, most of which has deteriorated.
This vessel has a pear-shaped body with a tapering neck that ends in a very small mouth. It stands on quite an elaborate foot. On opposing sides of the foot are two purpose-made holes, and there are two loop handles on opposing sides at the shoulder. Around the shoulder there are two incised decorative bands.
Height 24.5 cm (9.75 inches). There is surface wear and some "nibbling" to the vulnerable mouth edge, but there is no sign of any restoration or repair; overall condition is very good.
For information: this jar is part of a modest yet very interesting private English collection of Chinese antiquities acquired during the 1990s that we recently acquired.
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