China, 206 BC - 9 AD. Terracotta with original painting. This vessel was not used for cooking, and certainly not as a part of the burial arrangement, but rather served as a symbol for prosperity and status. Characteristic of the vessel is its round form set atop with a three small, but powerful, zoomorphic legs as well as vertically flanging handles located on the sides. The painting, applied onto a dark-gray background, features the colors white, light blue and red soil. The patterns are quite freely and generously painted and derived from those on old bronzes. The painting is especially well preserved on the vaulted lid.
Condition: Complete, age-related condition. The paint well preserved.
Provenance: Collection of Herbert Keuper, Germany.
Dimensions: Height 16 cm.
A very similar, approximately same-sized piece, excavated in Luoyang (Henan) is reproduced in Treasures from the Han, on page 90.