A Large Chinese Neolithic Painted Pottery Jar, Majiayao Yangshao Culture, Ma-chang phase, circa 2300-2000 B.C.


Hand molded in fine, red clay, the flared sides rise from a flat base to a broad rounded shoulder that tapers to a graceful everted rim. The shoulder of the vessel is flanked by two lug handles. The highly dynamic lozenge and circle design is applied in light brown pigment and highlighted with plumb-red to the smooth burnished surface that commences just below the shoulder.

A vessel such as this example would have been used to keep liquids and food cool in the sand. The undecorated bottom half would have been buried in the sand and the only decorated top half would have been visible above the sand.

In his "Prehistoric Pottery in China", (London, 1938), Ph. Dr. G. D. Wu illustrates the general characteristics of the wares from this culture, in Illustrations, p 41-43. The motif design on the pot is classified within Family 1 - Four large circles - as per Mr N. Palmgrens scheme of classification. Also see: Watson W. "Pre-Tang Ceramics of China" (1991)pg 91 #46 & 47(c)

Condition: Some scattered light surface deposits and very minor paint loss, otherwise intact and in excellent condition.

Dimensions: Height: 15 1/2 inches (39.37 cm)

Provenance:   Private collection of Mary K. F. Leong, WA., 1980-1990.

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