Han Dynasty, China
206-BC – 220 AC
Clay and polychrome
14” L x 13” H x 9” D / 35.5 cm L x 33 cm H x 23 cm
This vessel exemplifies the calm elegance typical of Han Dynasty pieces; the unusual silhouette, graceful and bold all at once. The footed pedestal base lightens the form and the short neck with the faceted rim elevates and elongates the overall design. A symbol good luck, the cocoon jar is a distinctive and classic form. Its voluminous body is adorned with incised vertical rings and remnants of scrolling designs with swirling heavenly clouds that complement the charcoal hue of the clay.
These elegant vases were used as storage vessels for wine and other liquids. Ultimately, they were intended for using in the afterlife as an emblem of wealth and status.