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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Covered tripod cauldron (ding)
Other Titles
Original Language Title: 西漢 彩繪陶鼎
Work Type
2nd-1st century BCE
Creation Place: East Asia, China
Han dynasty, Western Han period, 206 BCE-9 CE
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Gray earthenware with cold painted pigments
H. 22.3 x W. (across handles) 29.7 x Diam. 24.1 cm (8 3/4 x 11 11/16 x 9 1/2 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
[J. J. Lally & Co., New York, August 1999] sold; to Walter C. Sedgwick Foundation, Woodside, CA (1999-2006), partial gift; to Harvard University Art Museums, 2006.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Partial gift of the Walter C. Sedgwick Foundation and partial purchase through the Ernest B. and Helen Pratt Dane Fund for Asian Art
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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Cold-painted funerary ware simulating an inlaid bronze or lacquered vessel; bowl-shaped container supported by three cabriole legs terminating in hoof-shaped feet; two rectangular handles rising vertically from the rim; domed lid pierced with three small rectangular openings for the insertion of finial ornaments (now lost); dark gray earthenware with geometric cloud-scroll decoration painted in unfired polychrome pigments, including white, off-white, ochre, green, blue, orange, and red; interior of container and lid covered with cold-painted red pigment; remnants of small animal bones and other burial materials were found inside. One of a pair with 2006.170.171.A-B.
Compare to:
(1) Cold-painted earthenware ding tripod of closely related form with similar cloud-scroll décor excavated in 2001 from an early Western Han dynasty tomb in Sushantou near Mount Jiuli, Xuzhou, Jiangsu province. See Wenwu [Cultural Relics] 5 (2013): 34, fig. 7.
(2) Cold-painted earthenware ding tripod of related form excavated in 1986 from a Han tomb in Luoyang. See Grace Wong, ed., Treasures from the Han (Singapore: Historical and Cultural Exhibitions, 1990), 90.

Publication History

  • Julie Wertz, Georgina Rayner, Katherine Eremin, Susan Costello, Angela Chang, and Melissa Moy, "Material investigation of cold-painted funerary ceramics from the Han dynasty", ICOM-CC 19th Triennial Conference (Beijing, 2021), pp. 1-10, p. 1, fig. 1.2

Subjects and Contexts

  • Sedgwick Collection

Related Works

Verification Level

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