Storage jar (lei)

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2

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At A Glance

On View
  • Period

    ca. 1250-1050 BCE
  • Geography

    Anyang, probably Henan province, China
  • Material

    Unglazed gray earthenware
  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 21.5 × 21.5 × 20.5 cm (8 7/16 × 8 7/16 × 8 1/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Gray pottery wine container (lei).
    Vessel formed by coiling-and-throwing process. Elongated cylindrical neck ending in slightly thickened and flattened rim. The shoulder flattened and smoothed. Below the edge of the shoulder, the body swells to its broadest point then tapers sharply to a narrow base approximately the same diameter as the neck. Two broad horizontally pierced lugs placed oppositely just above the jar's widest point, their upper ends overlapping the smooth shoulder band.
    Clay: fine grained unglazed pottery clay, gray on the surface.
    Decoration: Incised around shoulder, a pair of widely spaced horizontal lines filled in with diagonal lines forming a band of triangles. In contrast to the smooth neck and shoulder, the central portion of the body is covered with a stamped grid pattern. Over this textured area is incised an interlocking T-hook pattern, the interior spaces of which are partially smoothed. The lower portion of the jar is plain with numerous closely but irregularly spaced horizontal lines produced by the process of smoothing the surface.
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Helen D. Ling (1901-1982)
    James G. Ling
    Dr. and Mrs. James G. and Ann S. Ling
  • Provenance

    To 1949
    Helen D. Ling (died 1982), Shanghai, to 1949 [1]
    From 1949 to 1984
    James G. Ling, Potomac, MD, given by Helen D. Ling in 1949 [2]
    From 1984
    Freer Gallery of Art, given by James G. and Ann S. Ling in 1984 [3]
    [1] Helen Dalling Ling was a collector who operated an antiques shop in Shanghai. According to James G. Ling, this object was collected in China during the war (see Curatorial Note 9 in the object record).
    [2] See note 1.
    [3] Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920 file, Collections Management Office.
  • Origin

    Anyang, probably Henan province, China
  • Credit Line

    Gift of James G. and Ann S. Ling in memory of the collector and connoisseur Helen Dalling Ling
  • Type

  • On View

    Sackler Gallery 23b: Anyang: China's Ancient City of Kings
  • Restrictions and Rights

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