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Identification and Creation
Object Number
Funerary jar (hunping)
Other Titles
Original Language Title: 三國至西晉 越窯青瓷魂瓶
Work Type
late 3rd century
Creation Place: East Asia, China, Zhejiang Province, Shaoxing
Three Kingdoms period (220-280) to Western Jin (266-317)
Persistent Link
Level 3, Room 3620, University Study Gallery
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Yue ware: stoneware with celadon glaze
H. 49 x Diam. 28 cm (19 5/16 x 11 in.)
[Kaikodo, New York, September 1998] sold; to Walter C. Sedgwick Foundation, Woodside, CA (1998-2006), 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 Alpheus Hyatt Purchasing Fund
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Broad-shouldered jar supporting a multi-tiered, tiled-roof architectural complex surrounded by birds, monkeys, dragons, and numerous male figures engaged in various activities; the sides of the jar further embellished with molded appliques of kneeling male figures bearing a staff; light gray stoneware with olive-green celadon glaze over molded and applique decoration; flat, circular base unglazed. From the Yue kilns in the Shaoxing area, northeastern Zhejiang province.

Hunping, or “urns of the soul,” were fashioned to house the spirit of individuals and placed in tombs. Such vessels were produced for a relatively short period, from the third to fourth century, in the lower Yangzi River region.
Compare to:
(1) Funerary jar with inscription dated to 292 CE excavated from a Western Jin tomb in Wu county, Jiangsu province, now in the Jiangsu Wu County Cultural Relics Management Office collection. See Zhongguo taoci quanji [The Complete Works of Chinese Ceramics], vol. 4: Sanguo, liang Jin, nanbei chao [Three-Kingdoms, Western and Eastern Jin, Northern and Southern dynasties] (Shanghai: Shanghai renmin meishu chubanshe, 2000), no. 56, pp. 81 and 249.
(2) Funerary jar excavated in 1979 from a Western Jin site in Cixi, Zhejiang province, now in the Zhejiang Cixi Municipal Cultural Relics Management Office collection. See ibid., no. 71, pp. 93 and 254.
(3) Funerary jar excavated from a Three-Kingdoms period tomb dated to 257 CE in Sicun, Pukouzhen, Shengzhou, Zhejiang province. See ibid., no. 4, pp. 42 and 232.
Publication History

Kaikodo Journal, Vol. 09 (Autumn 1998), auct. cat., Kaikodo (New York, 1998), no. 52, pp. 140-141 and 239-242

Exhibition History

Earthly Delights: 6,000 Years of Asian Ceramics, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/21/2022 - 08/14/2022

Related Media

3D Model: Large 'Hunping' Funerary Jar with Tiered Top Representing Figures and Birds Set in an Architectural Complex

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at