Ovoid stoneware jar with four loop handles

China, Sui or Tang dynasty, 7th or 8th century

Height: 5 5/8 inches, 14.3 cm

Width: 4 7/8 inches, 12.5 cm

Fig. 1   Brown-glazed stoneware jar, Meiyintang collection

A stoneware jar of ovoid shape, the rounded sides rising from a short, flared foot, curving inwards toward the mouth and terminating in a short neck. Four double stranded loop handles connect the rim to the shoulder. The exterior is covered in an opaque dark brown glaze that stops well above the foot, leaving only the foot, two horizontal lines around the shoulder and one line around the lower body unglazed. The unglazed parts show the fine and smooth buff stoneware body.

This elegantly potted vessel is a fine example of high-fired stoneware made in kilns in both Hebei and Henan province. A closely comparable brown-glazed stoneware jar with three handles, similar in size, proportions and design, is in the Yuegutang collection.[1] A brown-glazed jar with two loop handles and three evenly spaced, carved lines is in the Meiyintang collection (fig. 1).[2] A further comparable brown-glazed jar of similar proportions, which also has four double lug handles, was excavated at Xunzhou village, Huantai county in Shandong province, and is now in the collection of the Zibo museum.[3]

  1. Krahl, R. Yuegutang – A Collection of Chinese Ceramics in Berlin, Berlin, 2000, no. 93
  2. Kraal, R. Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, Volume One, Azimuth Editions, London 1994, no. 214
  3. Zhang Bo ed. Zhongguo Chutu Ciqi Quanji (Complete Collection of Ceramic Art Unearthed in China), Beijing, 2008, vol. 6, no. 55