Large Unglazed Grey Pottery Vase

Terra Cotta
Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.)
14.5” h. 12.5” w.d.

During the Han Dynasty, many vases were made in the form of the “Hu”, inspired by the late Chu bronzes. They were sweeping and massive, with a globular body and straight-sided conical feet. The very simple decoration of the example shown is characteristic — Fillets in relief and two jutting masks reminiscent of bronze handles on Chu vessels. The mask is a druid head and is supposed to chase off evil spirits.

This terra cotta pot is a tomb relic. The fine clay was formed by hand and fired at a high temperature. Since a relic like this is restricted from leaving China today, it is a treasure to collect.