China, Neolithic Period, ca. 3000 to 2000 BCE. A beautiful, large, ceramic urn decorated with a complex black and red pigmented geometric pattern around the shoulder and neck. Two tiny, lug handles are set at mid-body. This piece is from the very early pottery tradition found at various archaeological sites along the Yellow River Basin (modern day Gansu Province in northwestern China to Henan Province in central China), from the culture sometimes called the Yangshao. The painted motifs on the urn's surface demonstrate a remarkably early use of fine brush work. This item would have served as an urn for a cremation burial, of which about seven hundred have been found from this culture. They seem to have been used mainly for children, and occasionally for adults. Size: 13.75" W x 13.9" H (34.9 cm x 35.3 cm)
Provenance: private S.S. collection, Los Angeles, California, USA
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