This is a beautiful example of one of the most stunningly original forms in the whole history of Chinese ceramics. It was made in Sichuan about 2,000 years ago, but it is remarkably modern in its swirling design and in the integration of the two large eyes into the curves of the handles. This form is sometimes said to be reminscent of the female body, and it does indeed have an anthropomorphic presence, but in the end its strength lies in its vitality as a piece of abstract sculpture. There are decorative incised patterns at the neck and four circular designs imprinted on each handle; these are perhaps intended to convey the idea of coins, representing good fortune.
Dimensions: height, 17 cm; width, 18 cm.
Condition: Very good; repairs and restoration are almost always to be expected on these early pottery jars; this one has not been x-rayed but it appears to be intact. There are patches of old plant growth embedded in and attached to the surface.
Price: USD $680; CAD $885 (13% HST will be applied on all sales in Canada)