H x W x D: 24.5 x 21.2 x 21.2 cm (9 5/8 x 8 3/8 x 8 3/8 in)
Gansu province, China
ca. 2000 BCE
Urn, with globular body, tall neck with everted mouth, and flat base. One strap handle, overlaid with a narrower strip of clay, longitudinally oriented, at the juncture of neck and shoulder; two-thirds down the urn on the other side is one small projection in the form of a vestigal handle, latitudinally oriented.
Clay: buff earthenware; surface has many scratch marks and small holes.
Decoration: geometric design painted in black and dark reddish brown. The main zone, which occupies the upper three-quarters of the exterior, is defined by two horizontal bands, one running around the shoulder and the other one-quarter of the way around the base. The decoration of this zone consists of four large circles with identical decoration, separated by a supplementary motif of one pair of bifurcated curved lines at the bottom. The circles are filled with a design which consists of a cross whose four arms are traversed by six trellised bands; the spaces left within each circle are filled with four [drawing]-shaped motifs. Around the neck are two rows of tapering vertical lines. Around the interior of the neck are three rows of the saw-tooth motif, each of which increases in height.
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Clay and Metal: Ancient Chinese Ceramics and Metal (February 25, 1997 to August 9, 2011)
A Decade of Discovery: Selected Acquisitions 1970-1980 (November 9, 1979 to May 22, 1980)
Chinese Ceramics (April 11, 1978 to September 4, 1980)
Chinese Calligraphy and Ceramics (April 18, 1977 to April 8, 1978)