East Asia, China, Western Han Dynasty, ca. 206 BCE to 220 CE. A handsome polychrome cocoon vase presenting a traditional egg-shaped, footed form with a flared spout rising from the center of the upper body. The surface is painted with a mesmerizing pattern of swirling, celestial cloud motifs in vibrant red, snow white, and sienna brown hues. Whimsically shaped vessels like this example were most likely used to store and serve precious liquids such as wine. In addition to being emblems of status and wealth, ultimately, these vessels became funerary offerings for the afterlife. A gorgeous example that presents an elegant silhouette of graceful curves - its voluminous body supported by a pedestal base. Size: 11.5" W x 9.875" H (29.2 cm x 25.1 cm)
See another cocoon-shaped Han Dynasty vessel - though with a slightly different surface presenting a solid color with incised striations - at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York - accession number 1981.466 (https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/49901) on view in Gallery 205.
Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection
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