A classic Chinese Han Dynasty "cocoon jar" of high fired gray pottery, Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 9 AD), China. The jar is of typical form, with a "cocoon" shaped body decorated with vertically painted lines and swirls lines that circumscribe the body. These flowing patterns are thought to represent clouds and the heavens. The vessel is supported by a short, splayed foot, and topped with a short, narrow neck and everted mouth. The jar shows various stains and encrustations from burial. Cocoon jars got their name from their unique shape, like the cocoon of a silkworm. Found mainly in tombs, jars such as these were meant to hold liquids, most likely wine, for the deceased to enjoy in the afterlife. The cocoon shape was thought to be auspicious as cocoons look lifeless but harbor life inside -an encouraging metaphor for those considering the afterlife.
- Origin | China
- Dimensions | 11."W x 8.5"D x 11.5"H
- Age | 206BC - 220AD
- Material | Terracotta
- ID | RHS034
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