Tomb pilaster

Historical period(s)
Han dynasty, 1st century BCE-1st century CE
H x W x D: 133.2 x 21.3 x 21.9 cm (52 7/16 x 8 3/8 x 8 5/8 in)
Credit Line
Gift of The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Sculpture

Tomb pilaster

China, earthenware, funerary, Han dynasty (206 BCE - 220 CE), WWII-era provenance

To 1964
Frank Caro, New York, New York. [1]

From 1964 to 1977
Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), New York, New York, purchased from Frank Caro, New York, New York. [2]

From 1977 to 2006
The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, New York, New York, gift of Arthur M. Sackler, New York, New York. [3]

From 2006
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, New York, New York. [4]


[1] See document from The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, copy in object file, Collections Management Office. Object was purchased from Frank Caro in August 27, 1964.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See Acquisition Consideration Form, object file, Collections Management Office.

[4] See note 3.

Previous Owner(s)

Frank Caro 1904-1980
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987
Arthur M. Sackler Foundation founded 1965


Gray earthenware columns of this type supported the lintels that spanned funerary chambers of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.E. -220 C.E.). The geometric and stylized animal designs stamped onto the surface of the column are repeated several times. In contrast to the impressed designs is the large sculpted figure that forms the capital of the column. Figures of this type evidently served a protective function.

Published References
  • Three Thousand Years of the Ceramic Art and Ancient Sculpture of China from the Sackler Collections. Exh. cat. New York. .
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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