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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Amphora with pointed base
Other Titles
Original Language Title: 仰韶文化 半坡類型 陶 尖底雙耳瓶
Work Type
Banpo phase, c. 5000-4000 BCE
Creation Place: East Asia, China, Shaanxi province
Neolithic period, Yangshao culture, c. 5000-3000 BCE
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Earthenware with impressed decoration
H. 37 x W. (across handles) 24 cm (14 9/16 x 9 7/16 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
[J.J. Lally & Co., 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 Ernest B. and Helen Pratt Dane Fund for Asian Art
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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Inverted tear-drop-shaped vessel with cupped mouth, short neck, broad, rounded shoulders, sides tapering inward to a pointed base, and two loop handles just below shoulders; red earthenware, the upper half cord-marked (i.e., textured with impressions created by a cord-wrapped implement tapped against the moist clay before firing. Early Yangshao culture, Banpo type.

Vessels of this form—with small mouths, pointed bases, and bilateral loop handles—were used to collect and carry water and were produced in abundance during the middle and late Neolithic period in the middle Yellow River valley region.

A sample taken from the base of this vessel was thermoluminescence (TL) tested at Oxford Authentication Ltd. in September 1998 and determined to be consistent with the suggested period of manufacture.
Compare to:
(1) Small amphora with similar rounded shoulders excavated in 1975 from a Banpo site in Jiangzhai, Lintong county, Shaanxi province, now in the Shaanxi History Museum. See Zhongguo taoci quanji [The Complete Works of Chinese Ceramics], vol. 1: Xinshiqi shidai [Neolithic period] (Shanghai: Shanghai renmin meishu chubanshe, 2000), no. 17, pp. 66 and 252.
(2) Amphora with similar cupped mouth and textured surface excavated in 1972 from a Banpo site in Jiangzhai, Lintong county, Shaanxi province, now in the National History Museum, Beijing. See ibid., no. 16, p. 65 and p. 252; and Kaogu 3 (1973): 144, fig. 17.2, and pl. 2.
(3) Small amphora excavated from Banpo village, Xi’an, Shaanxi province, now in the British Museum. See Sheila Vainker, Chinese Pottery and Porcelain (London: British Museum, 1991), 13, fig. 1 (left).

Publication History

  • Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg, Amphore Métaphore, exh. cat., Musée du Verre (Conches-en-Ouche, 2022), pp. 98-99, ill.; pp. 109, 120

Exhibition History

Subjects and Contexts

  • Sedgwick Collection
  • Google Art Project

Verification Level

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