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      Spring and Autumn Annals (770 - 476 BC)  
     

 

 

 
 

Rare broad shouldered grain vessels from the period of the Spring and Autumn Annals, definitive as the earliest period of glazed incised ceramics. Decorated in an ecru glaze with cord patterns of stylized agricultural elements in concordance with their intended use. The narrow lip at the mouth of each jar would have served to affix an inset woven cover. Such fine examples of this period pottery are seldom seen.

Measuring 10” high by 13” diameter, and 11 ½” high by 14 ½” diameter.

 
         
     

 

 

      Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD)  
     

 

 

 
 

An impressive Han Dynasty green glaze, three tiered tower, with a deep moat containing a tortoise and fish. The rim of the moat is surrounded by miniature sculpture of three equestrians on horseback and a goose and gander. Two cantilevered balconies contain watchful archers with bows drawn. Such commanding architectural works of art in glazed terracotta were the work of state run kilns and commissioned for high ranking civil authorities or military nobility of the Imperial Court.

Measuring 36" high.

 
         
     

 

 

 
 

A Han Dynasty green glazed bas relief Hill Jar. The lid depicts a central peak surrounded by four subsidiary peaks with dragons, phoenix, and other mythological beasts among the peaks. The body consists of a molded frieze depicting feline, monkeys, boars and other beasts amid a mountainous landscape, as well as two tao tie mask holding rings. Supported by three bear totem feet.

Measuring 12" high by 9 ½" diameter.

 

         
         
 
 

An Eastern Han (25-220 AD) dynasty iridescent green glazed terracotta architectural model of a house. Such houses are generally recognized as actually being granary store houses, as they are raised on bear totem feet to guard the most precious resource of grain. This example has an overhanging gabled roof of lateral rows of round tiles supported by trident bracketing and the surface of the walls have been incised with geometric designs.

Measuring 11” high by 11” wide by 7 ½” deep.

 

         
         
 
 

A Western Han (202 BC – AD 6) iridescent green glazed Hu with a generous bulbous body that tapers to a long narrow neck with a flared mouth. The shoulder and belly are surrounded by both incised and raised banding and two bas relief tao tie (guardian) masks with nose rings are sculpted on either side of the shoulder. The liberally applied high-fired glaze flows uninterrupted over the lip and into the interior. The luminous nature of the iridescent is due to biochemical events that occur when there is moisture in the tomb site.

Measuring 14 ¾” high by 10 ½” diameter.

 

         
         
      Northern Wei Dynasty (386 - 534 AD)  
     

 

 

 
 

A Northern Wei Dynasty pottery sculpture of a caparisoned horse. The sculpture of the Wei Dynasty was limited in production and very idiosyncratic of the period. This caparisoned horse is a premier example with cowry shell trappings and bridle with double tao tie guardian masks. He stands foursquare on a rectangular base, his long neck arched high and his slender head is held elegantly straight down, characteristic of the proud Ferghana breed of central Asia revered for their spirit and vitality.

Measuring 14" high by 12" wide by 9" deep. Accompanied by Thermoluminescence Dating Report.

 
         
     

 

 

      Sui Dynasty (581 - 618 AD)  
     

 

 

 
 

A commanding pair of Sui Dynasty terra-cotta Guardians standing stalwart with fierce penetrating gaze, their expressively modeled faces with bulging eyes and flared nostrils that bring real presence to their intended purpose. Each figure wears close fitting helmets to simulate what would have been iron over thick flaps of leather, to cover both the back of their heads and ears. They have chest armor over leather tunics with shoulder guards and voluminous pantaloons. The surface of each sculpture still bears the original white slip pigment with traces of ancient gold leaf on the chest armor.

Measuring 24 ½" and 25" high.

A very similar warrior was unearthed in 1974 at Dongchen-cu, Cixcian, Hebei Province, dated Eastern Wei Dynasty (534-550 AD) and is in the collection of Institute of Conservation for Cultural Relics there, is illustrated in "Exhibition of the Yellow River Culture", Tokyo 1986, pl. 101.

 
         
     

 

 

      T'ang Dynasty (618 - 906 AD)  
     

 

 

 
 

A Tang Dynasty 8th century Chinese archaic ‘Tao tie’ guardian mask intended as a protective talisman to preside over the entrance of a household. This terracotta mask is delightfully animated with a charming toothy overbite, and intense gaze beneath his knitted brow expressing his vigilance in his watch. His elfin-like ears are open and alert to the sound of any intruder, and his nostrils flared as all senses are intent upon his duty. Original white slip glaze with traces of vermillion. Attractively mounted in a custom made shadow box.

Measuring 12 ½” square.

 
     

 

 

     

 

 

 
 

A Tang Dynasty pottery sculpture of horse and rider with an engaging sense of presence. The horse stands foursquare with broad chest, powerful flanks and mane and a well defined head with ears alert and flared nostrils. He is of the much prized breed of Ferghana from the northeastern steps of China. The equestrian is seated on a raised saddle over a blanket and wears a winter kaftan, his left hand is raised as that of a standard bearer. The face is exquisitely well defined with sentient presence. Still retaining pigments of vermillion, white slip and black.

Measuring 20" high by 17 ½" wide by 6" deep.

 
         
     

 

 

 
 

Earth Spirit Guardian Figures

A charismatic pair of early Tang Dynasty mythological Guardians referred to as Earth Spirits and Zhenmushou ("ground-quelling beasts") in Chinese. These auspicious beasts are seated on their rear haunches, their gaze ever alert as they serve their apotropaic function of protecting their owner from evil and malicious intent. These sculptures have bodies that are a hybrid between lions and dogs with raised tails and celestial flames that ascend their spines, symbolic of their supernatural origin. Characteristic of these rare archaic worksof art are the differences to be found in their countenance, as one has human features and its companion mythological lion-dog features, symbolizing their combined strength of intelligence and prowess. Terracotta with traces of black and white slip pigments and vermillion to the mouth of the lion-dog. Of particular significance is the fact that these guardians have survived as a pair for more than 1,200 years. It is not unusual for only one of a pair to remain, and yet still be considered a treasured artifact. China, late 7th to early 8th century.

Measuring 12 " high.
 
         
     

 

 

 
 

A Tang Dynasty pottery sculpture of a Middle Eastern trader of the Silk Road riding on horseback. This trade route brought many foreigners to the Imperial Court that were important to commerce and whose presence signified prosperity. This foreigner wears a full-length hooded kaftan over boots and would have held leather reigns. White slip, vermilion and black pigments. 

Measuring approx. 15” high by 10 ¾” wide by 5” deep.