Funerary jar with White Tiger of the West

Historical period(s)
Southern Song dynasty, 12th-13th century
Medium
Stoneware with celadon glaze
Style
Longquan ware
Dimensions
H x Diam: 33.8 × 13.3 cm (13 5/16 × 5 1/4 in)
Geography
China, Zhejiang Province, Longquan
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1946.1a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Funerary jar

Keywords
bird, China, funerary, green glaze, Longquan ware, Guan type, Southern Song dynasty (1127 - 1279), stoneware, tiger, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

This funerary jar, which presumably held grain, is decorated with cosmological symbols. The kittenish tiger coiling around the jar's elongated neck represents the White Tiger of the West; it would have been paired with another jar bearing the Green Dragon of the East. Other figures include two people and a dog. The Chinese character for sun appears on a disk above a cloud on the neck. The lid is embellished with clouds and a bird, perhaps a crane, a symbol of immortality. The crackled glaze, somewhat uneven in color, is an example of Guan-type glaze made at certain kilns in Longquan.

Published References
  • Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 47.
  • Warren E. Cox. The Book of Pottery and Porcelain. 2 vols., New York. vol. 1: p. 139ff, pl. 37.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.