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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Covered jar (hu) with pictorial decoration
Other Titles
Original Language Title: 西漢 彩繪陶壺
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. 45.5 x Diam. 29 cm (17 15/16 x 11 7/16 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
[Kaikodo, New York, 1996] sold; to Walter C. Sedgwick Foundation, Woodside, CA (1996-2006), 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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Covered jar with slightly flared mouth, cylindrical neck, broad, rounded shoulders, wide body, sides tapering slightly inward to a flat circular base, and dome-shaped cover; light gray earthenware with decoration cold-painted in unfired off-white, red, dark red, purple and black pigments on a white ground, the container with pictorial designs of two equestrian hunters bearing bows and arrows pursuing a white tiger painted in white, the lid with geometric decor.

A sample taken from the base of this vessel was thermoluminescence (TL) tested at Oxford Authentication Ltd. in April 2000 and determined to be consistent with the suggested period of manufacture.
Compare to:
(1) Cold-painted earthenware jar of related form but with geometric cloud-scroll decor excavated in 2001 from an early Western Han tomb in Sushantou near Mount Jiuli, Xuzhou, Jiangsu province. See Wenwu [Cultural Relics] 5 (2013): 34, fig. 9.
(2) Cold-painted earthenware jar of related form with geometric designs and a decorative band depicting a phoenix, a tiger, and a dragon excavated in 1992 from a late Western Han tomb in Jinguyuan near Luoyang train station in Luoyang city, Henan province. See Wenwu [Cultural Relics] 7 (1994): 25, fig. 6.5.
(3) Cold-painted earthenware jar of related form with geometric designs and a decorative band depicting an equestrian archer chasing after a bear and a tiger attributed to the Western Han period in the Metropolitan Museum of Art collection, New York (accession no. 1992.165.20a,b).

Publication History

  • Kaikodo Journal, Vol. 02 (Autumn 1996), auct. cat., Kaikodo (Kamakura, Japan and New York, 1996), no. 31, pp. 118-119 and 241-243

Exhibition History

Related Media

Verification Level

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